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BUILDING A COMMUNAL RICE STORAGE BUILDING

For Photos building Fiadananas rice storage building

According to the community (November 2005) the rice production per year in Fiadanana is 454 metric tons. Of these 54 tons are for consumption, 10 tons for seed, and 390 tons for sale. As subsistence farmers, rice is virtually the only source of potential cash income for farmers.

Families have storage capacity in their houses for the rice they will eat the throughout the year, but dont have enough storage space for the rice they sell. Therefore, they have to sell right after harvest, when the rice buyers trucks cruise the countryside. The price obtained right after the harvest (usually around May) is the lowest of the year, because there is an abundance of rice available in the country. If the farmers were able to store some of their rice for sale until prices go up starting in August, they earn more money.

Building a communal rice storage has proven to be an effective way to help farmers achieve a better price for their harvest in hundreds of communities across Madagascar. Building such a structure where the rice is kept dry and free from pests can be built based on existing models. A system with 3 community representatives who jointly manage the facility is one possible role model.


Funding needs
It will be the role of Zahana to provide the know-how and find and provide the finances to built the storage unit, as lack of money has been the main stumbling block thus far. The villagers will, as with all other projects, contribute the locally available materials and the labor. Building such a storage unit is a good example of how with a small investment the financial situation of the farmers can be improved greatly, just by transferring knowledge that has worked elsewhere in the country.

Building a communal Rice Storage in Fiarenana, Zahanas second village