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Sorghum Development in Madagascar

The Global Collaboration on Sorghum and Millet is uniquely positioned to explore the opportunities for and barriers to strengthening a sustainable and climate-resilient sorghum system and the overall sorghum value chain in Madagascar. 

Sorghum, pearl millet and groundnut-based food systems suit Madagascar’s varied climate conditions. Due to their resilience to extreme heat, drought, climate variability, and poor soils, these grains and legumes are growing in demand across Africa.

The GCSM is a catalyst for collaboration, capacity strengthening and the delivery of improved technologies within global sorghum and pearl millet systems in the face of unprecedented challenges to the global food system. 

With funding from USAID, GCSM is engaged in an accelerated in-country utilization of improved climate-adapted varieties of sorghum, pearl millet and groundnut for nutritional and financial benefits within a national network of public and private actors across value chains. 

The USAID-funded project Climate Adapted Cropping Systems & Value Chains Development / Sorghum, Pearl Millet & Groundnut has three main goals:

  • Improve the productivity and profitability of farmers by introducing new adapted varieties and agronomic practices for sorghum, pearl millet and groundnuts into the seed system. 
  • Enhance the agricultural value chain of these important commodities through the adoption of new technologies and market opportunities. 
  • Develop a national public and private stakeholder working platform in Madagascar.

Drawing from the Conférence Nationale Pour L’Autosuffisance Alimentaire report in June 2022, GCSM will focus on building a belt of dryland farming systems from the northwest to the southeast. (See page 22 of the report for specifics related to sorghum.)

  • Menabe region in the districts of Ampanihy, Analaiva, Kirindy
  • Androy region in the districts of Beloha, Ambovombe-Androy and Tsihombe
  • Atsimo-Andrefana region
  • Boeny region surrounding Mahajanga
  • Melaky region surrounding the new feed mill in Maintirano

This project furthers the GCSM’s focus – cropping systems approach and value chain growth for two climate-smart crops critical to underserved communities around the globe. The GCSM is building these crops of the future through active knowledge and expertise transfer and global exchange of resources that reduce redundancy and increase productivity.

GCSM is also partnering with the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Peanut, headquartered at the University of Georgia. The organizations are collaborating on synergistic cropping systems and the development of the peanut value chain in Madagascar.

The Need for Sorghum in Madagascar

Multiple years of drought have left more than 1 million people in Madagascar at high risk for malnutrition and severe income insecurity, particularly in the island’s southern regions. Extreme climate conditions present significant challenges to traditional agricultural production systems, upon which nearly 80 percent of the population relies for their livelihoods. 

The overall quantity of sorghum produced in Madagascar has declined significantly since the 1990s and remains relatively low despite efforts to reintroduce the drought-tolerant cereal crop across agricultural lands. 

Investments in commercial poultry production in Madagascar present a compelling opportunity for value chain development involving sorghum production to replace up to 25% of maize poultry feed.

To better understand the opportunities presented by sorghum cultivation and marketing in Madagascar, USAID commissioned global sorghum and pearl millet experts at GCSM’s predecessor organization, Feed the Future Innovation Lab on Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet (SMIL), to conduct a sorghum value chain assessment.

GCSM in Madagascar

June 14, 2024

USAID, U.S. Embassy Organize Partner Fair in Madagascar

The Global Collaboration on Sorghum and Millet’s national partner, FOFIFA, and Madagascar National Sorghum Team members represented the Climate Adapted Cropping Systems & Value Chains Development for Sorghum, Pearl Millet & Groundnut project during the high-profile event.