A few years ago, the Atsinanana Region (a partner of AVSF) noticed that the smallholders in the region were not really benefitting from the growth and development of the town of Tamatave. The region called upon AVSF to assist its smallholders in terms of production, setting up organizations, and gaining access to markets. The project was originally focused on just two districts (Vatomandry and Tamatave II), with the intention of expanding to include more districts in the next phases.
With regard to small-scale livestock farming, AVSF helped a young veterinarian get settled in Vatomandry and assisted him in the recruitment, training, and implementation of Community Animal-Health Assistants. These animal-health assistants vaccinated more than 2,000 animals during their first year of service. As this service expands, studies are being carried out to identify the best solutions in each zone so that the livestock farmers can have access to local animal-health services that offer a high level of quality.
AVSF’s teams are currently helping to distribute micro-irrigation (drip) kits in order to encourage the development of market gardening. Market-gardening products are in very high demand on the local markets. The kits make it easier to irrigate during dry spells, which extends the growing period and considerably increases yields. Moreover, technicians are working with smallholders in their villages to help them develop this system of farming (which is new to most of them) while limiting the risks. Over the course of one year, AVSF has worked with and trained more than 300 families.
AVSF has studied the potential supply chains and outlets for the producers. Marketing strategies have been discussed with the producers. AVSF has helped several emerging smallholder organizations to organize group sales either to wholesale buyers or directly to local markets.