Enhancing the sustainability of tree growing by smallholder farmers in remote areas: an insight from Madagascar

International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability所収

This paper explores key elements of an extension approach for enhancing the sustainability and realizing the scaling-up of tree growing by smallholder farmers in rural remote areas where extension services seldom reach and access to external markets is difficult. By referring to the case in Madagascar, the paper discusses that creating a certain number of local trainers is effective because they function as a driver to promote tree growing and new livelihood activities introduced by external agents using locally available resources. One critical issue of being a local trainer is to have good communication skills in relation to fellow farmers. This issue can be addressed by sharing the importance of communication skills of local trainers in a community so that fellow farmers can facilitate local trainers’ reflection unless a farmer does not feel reliable to a local trainer. On a mid- to longer-term basis, income opportunities will become an important point of motivation for local trainers. Creating new livelihood activities that can generate income and simultaneously contribute to village development is the way to go. This will enable local trainers to maintain their motivation and thus lead to sustainable tree growing activities.