Notes to broadcasters on rice in Madagascar

    | April 18, 2011

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    Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries. Since the political coup in March 2009, the country has lost around US$400 million in donor support.  Humanitarian assistance has increased, but, according to the latest statistics from Madagascar’s National Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), rural poverty rates rose from 73.5 per cent in 2005 to 82.2 per cent in 2010. Eighty per cent of Madagascar’s population of 20 million live in rural areas.

    For more information on the situation in Madagascar, here are some recent news items:

    -Madagascar: A poor country gets poorer

    -Madagascar: Cyclone Bingiza’s legacy

    -Madagascar: Une bonne récolte de riz attendee

    You can read some recent scripts on rice production here:

    -Dr. Rice Panicle answers questions about rice and soil fertility (Package 88, Script 10, July 2009).

    -Higher yields and less weeding if you transplant rice from a nursery (Package 85, Script 3
    September 2008).

    Here are some recent stories from Madagascar, published in Farm Radio Weekly:

    Madagascar: Women blend agriculture with forest restoration (FRW 112, May 2010).

    Africa: Angola land deal announced; Madagascar land deal on hold (FRW 52, January 2009).

    Madagascar: Fishers reel in prizes while learning to keep waters stocked (FRW 76, August 2009).

    Farmers are used to having to protect their crops against insect or bird attack. But in some cases, protection against theft is also needed. You could produce a short piece on theft to provoke discussion and raise awareness. If you can find farmers who have had crops stolen, it would make a compelling interview. Here are some questions to get you started:

    -How common is theft of crops in the field in your broadcast area? Which crops are affected in particular?

    -What can farmers do to prevent such theft?

    -What effect does crop theft have on a community?

    -Can farmers receive help from local leaders or police?