News - Sep 24, 2020

Support for vanilla producers in the south of Madagascar with our partner Sahanala

A promising vanilla buying and processing campaign for producers in the Anosy region

This is a first, this year, as part of the collaboration with the social enterprise Sahanala, the vanilla producers of the Anosy region, south-east of Madagascar were able to market their vanilla.

The Talaky project aims at the preservation of natural forest ecosystems and the improvement of the living conditions of the riparian populations of these forests. The development of the vanilla cash-crop value chain is thus one of the components supported by the project. The world famous vanilla from Madagascar is in fact mostly produced in the northern regions. At the other end of the big island, to the south, the pedoclimatic conditions are also favorable to its cultivation, but knowledge in terms of agricultural technique and processing is still minimal in this very isolated and, in fact, undeveloped area.

Collection and processing of the vanilla took place as close as possible to the producers, in the rural municipality of Ampasimena. 2 animators from the Sahanala company took care of the purchase and a preparer focused on the delicate stage of vanilla processing with the participation of producers in a Farmer Field School approach. After the first stages of processing (sorting, scalding, steaming, drying in the sun), the vanilla pods were moved for safety reasons. The first vanilla quality indicators (length, stage of ripening, pod filling) are very satisfactory (see photo below!), The analysis of the vanillin level in the laboratory will give the final verdict on its intrinsic qualities.

The vanilla market is very unusual and complex. The year 2020 is marked by a fall in vanilla prices, greater than 50% at the national level, linked to multiple factors: abundant harvest, speculation following the surge in prices in recent years, fewer imports following the health crisis. Producers suffer from a gigantic price variation: 25 US$/kg in 2012 - 435 US$/kg 2019 - 250 US$/kg 2020 (FOB price). In addition, the economic value of this "black gold" has led to strong growth in insecurity, including in the countryside.

Nitidæ's role covers several aspects in support of producers but also to meet the demand of the Sahanala buyer. This involves technical support throughout the value chain: technical training, creation of educational tools (see below), long-term advice... and support for structuring farmer: animations on the role of producers in the value chain, securing plots, anticipating price variations...

>> Download below some educational materials used in this project