Improved crop varieties & diversified farming practices to improve food and nutrition security
Showcased by AfricaRice and IITA in Madagascar
To mark the annual “Europe Day” event, a day-long presentation of the current programs and projects funded by the European Union was organized by the Delegation of the European Union in Madagascar on May 11, 2023. The exhibition took place in front of the town hall of Antananarivo where about fifty stands presented different programs in various fields of development (health, education, governance, energy, infrastructure, biodiversity, nutrition, rural development.).
As part of the EU-funded project, the BRECOMA (Building Resilience to Enhance Food, Incomes and Nutrition Security in the Comoros and Madagascar), implemented by the consortium AfricaRice-IITA, took an active part in the “Rural Development” stand. This three-year project (2022-2025) is implemented in three regions of the central highlands of Madagascar and three islands in Comoros. The project seeks to improve food and nutritional security through the promotion of improved varieties of nutritious crops and appropriate diversified agro-ecological farming practices.
During this event, the BRECOMA team presented a comprehensive overview of the project, including its objectives, expected outputs, and the activities that are being implemented over the 3-year project period. This exhibition served as an excellent opportunity to showcase different interventions undertaken by AfricaRice and IITA as parts of the BRECOMA project, such as promoting Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for rice and other crops (maize and cassava) and modern rice GEM parboiling techniques to enhance the nutritional value of rice. Additionally, the team exhibited the newly released three red rice varieties with higher nutritional content (Fe and Zn) that are being promoted through the project, as well as the highly nutritious green leafy vegetable (amaranth, African eggplant, and black nightshade) and the newly introduced vit-A enriched maize varieties by IITA. Visitors were provided with flyers highlighting our activities, and other documents were available for consultation on-site. Furthermore, this event provided an avenue to interact and exchange ideas with other stakeholders of various projects.
Her excellency Madam. Isabelle Delattre BURGER, the EU Ambassador in Madagascar, and His excellency Mr. Harifidy RAMILISON, the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, led a delegation who visited the AfricaRice-IITA stand. The public's strong curiosity about the newly released red rice varieties, the selected vegetables, vit-A enriched maize and the parboiled rice deeply moved us. The majority of inquiries during the Europe day revolved around knowledge on improved rice varieties that can withstand specific environmental conditions like drought or flood, which are commonly present in the different regions of Madagascar.