In 2012, the Government of Madagascar secured funding from the Adaptation Fund to reduce the negative impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities. Madagascar’s rice sector is experiencing climate change through alterations in rainfall patterns and a rise of temperatures, leading to a reduction of water availability and decreasing yields.
A central approach of the project was to build the climate resilience of vulnerable communities in the Alaotra-Mangoro region by developing and piloting an Integrated Resilient Rice Model (MIRR) to protect the rice sector from climate hazards. The rice sector is the most important sector in Madagascar’s economy, generating 41% of households’ income. The rice model was developed, piloted and disseminated through three project components: i) scientific and technical capacity; ii) adapted and resilient rice production cycle; and iii) leveraging policy change.
In Madagascar, deforestation for agricultural land is leading to widespread erosion from run-off, resulting in the loss of topsoil, depletion of soil nutrients, and landslides. The project therefore also applied an ecosystem-based adaptation approach to protect the ecosystem services that benefit rice production. The pilot investments in the Alaotra-Mangoro region have the potential of being upscaled at the national level, and two other regions – Itasy and Vakinankaratra – were selected for upscaling the MIRR approach.
In all components of the project, key lessons were learned for the implementation of the MIRR model, agroforestry, reforestation, monitoring and evaluation, sustainability, and more.