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Madagascar October 2016

Action carried out in Bémahatazana, Madagascar, from 23/10/2016 to 05/11/2016 by Dominique BRUNET and Didier MEUNIER.

General context .
Since 2010, the bishop of Tsiroanomandidy has entrusted to the religious Sisters of N.D. de la Salette the realization of the project of the College / Lycée St Paul.
Increasing demands from the families of Bemahatazana were expressed on the interest of such a college / high school.
To date, by the end of 2016, 1150 pupils were enrolled at this school.
According to the Sisters, the parents who enroll their children want a better education for their children, for the future generation, for their future and to participate in the recovery of the country.

Special context.
Sister Marie-Victoire, the head of the Community, who is carrying out this project at the end, is convinced that the education of young people must also
Protection of the environment, respect for nature, reforestation, agricultural practices without chemicals. The latter indebted peasants and
Produce foods dangerous to the health of the soil, animals, plants and those who consume them.
She also believes that an ecological and productive food crop would enable the population to become self-sufficient. This agriculture with much less debt
That the agriculture advocated by the fertilizer merchants should encourage some young people to cultivate the land and thus stay in the country.
Sister Marie Victoire turned to agroecology. In partnership with a Grenoble association, Le petit Baobab 38, she applied for agro-ecological support to the Network of Agroecologists Without Borders.
Characteristics of the mission.
From October 23rd to November 5th 2016, we, Didier Meunier and Dominique Brunet, went on site for a first mission of awareness and evaluation.
We had previously met Sister Marie Victoire in France.
This contact allowed us to identify several dimensions of work:
Sensitization of pupils and their teachers to agroecology;
Accompaniment of several farmers interested in the process;
Reflection and the establishment of a roadmap for
The 10ha of land of the college in agro-ecological farm.

The mission
During our working visit, we were able to talk about agroecology and its different dimensions (reforestation, stopping bush fires, respect for nature, agroforestry ...) to all the school classes and their teachers.
We have added a practical aspect by starting a school garden with each class. We worked with the teachers so that they could continue gardening. Plantations of fruit trees and ornaments also took place around the college.
Peasants and peasants asked us for support in the manufacture of compost and natural preparations. We also accompanied them in their fields for exchanges of cultural practices.
The 10 ha of the College’s farm has been the subject of a detailed roadmap which should make it possible to start cultivating part of these 10 ha as soon as the rainy season is over. This farm, which is to become productive, could become extension farm agroecology in all its dimensions: market gardening, cereal, farming, reforestation, protection of hedges, etc ... and this for all the farmers in the region.
We also proposed an agro-ecological development of the small farm adjacent to the buildings of the Community of Sisters and belonging to the latter.

As a conclusion .
This mission was very interesting and exciting, since it enabled us to meet the majority of local actors, both state and religious.
A lot of people came to the information meetings that we held.
On the ground, students, teachers and farmers were attentive and participative.
In the near future, we must meet the President of the association who has financially supported this agricultural project to take stock of the situation and reflect on the future.
A second mission to reinforce the achievements of the first should be envisaged to show our interest in the development of agroecology in this region of Madagascar and to rectify, improve or consolidate the work that will have been carried out during the past months.

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