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Constraints on Rice Cultivation in Eastern Madagascar: Which Factors Matter to Smallholders, and Which Influence Food Security?

Dröge, Saskia, Poudyal, Mahesh, Hockley, Neal, Mandimbiniaina, Rina, Rasoamanana, Alexandra, Andrianantenaina, Nilsen S., Llopis, Jorge C. (2022) Constraints on Rice Cultivation in Eastern Madagascar: Which Factors Matter to Smallholders, and Which Influence Food Security? Human Ecology, 50 (3). pp. 493-513. ISSN 0300-7839. (doi:10.1007/s10745-022-00336-2) (KAR id:95934)


In the eastern rainforests of Madagascar, rainfed swidden rice cultivation remains prevalent despite efforts to encourage uptake of irrigated systems to reduce deforestation. We used agricultural surveys with a stratified sample of 171 households to investigate constraints on and productivity of irrigated and rainfed rice perceived by farmers, and actual rice yields. Irrigated rice plots had higher median yields (1.72 t/ha compared to 0.62 t/ha), but farmers perceived the type of rice cultivation they practised themselves as more productive, possibly reflecting differences in the land suitability, farmers experience, and other constraints. While some factors, such as pests and water, were mentioned to limit yields, access to fertiliser was not frequently mentioned by smallholders. Higher food security was related to irrigated rice farming, higher rice yields, and owning more livestock. Conservation initiatives need to target households with and without access to irrigable land to improve food security and reduce deforestation, as exclusively promoting a cessation of swidden agriculture is neglecting its cultural value and the scarcity of irrigable land in the region.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s10745-022-00336-2
Additional information: Unmapped bibliographic data: JO - Human Ecology [Field not mapped to EPrints]
Uncontrolled keywords: Corridor Ankeniheny-Zahamena, Deforestation, Eastern Madagascar, Irrigated rice, Sustainable development, Swidden agriculture
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Mahesh Poudyal
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2022 09:06 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2022 08:36 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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