Ranaivosn Holy Farahanta
University of Antananarivo, Madagascar
Ranaivosn Holy Farahanta is a agricultural professional from the University of Antananarivo, Madagascar. He is presently working at Ecole Superieure des Sciences as an agro Management professional
Despite the possession of arable land, Malagasy farmers do not have sufficient access to materials and capital, do not much use modern inputs and invest a little in actions to improve agricultural land. It should be noted that only 16% of cultivated land are subject to 2% with fertilization with mineral fertilizers and 14% with organic manure. Using inexpensive and improved agricultural inputs such as vermicompost remain one of the solutions to improve the low agricultural productivity in Madagascar. Vermicompost is the result of research on earthworms keeping, to overcome the problems of fertilizers and provides many advantages to farmers. There is some performance improvement, preservation of ecological environment as well as solving the problem of soil degradation. Each farmer can practice vermicomposting because of its very simple production technology, especially for farmers whose financial resources are very limited. Furthermore, vermicompost is a solution to the valuation of garbage. Facing this situation, how can we develop the production and the use of vermicompost at the household level in rural areas in order to solve the problem of fertility, improve agricultural productivity and increase household incomes? This is a way to stabilize rural areas and stem the exodus to cities. All in all, the use of vermicompost is a form of sustainable agriculture. Yet, the state policy still favors the use of chemical fertilizers, without taking into account the environmental degradation and the loss of biodiversity which is mainly the task of the private sector and international organizations. The development of organic agriculture, in direct relation with the use of organic fertilizers like vermicompost, should not be excluded from national politic. It is time to act and clearly define a national policy on organic farming by supporting the private sector, NGOs or associations and by encouraging farmers to produce their own fertilizers such as vermicompost. An enabling environment for farmers has to be installed and the sector controlled. Actually, this policy helps to facilitate the involvement of private operators through grants, technical and financial assistance, especially regarding the development of experimentation constituting concrete visual references and can convince farmers on the technical and economic interest that organic farming brings by using vermicompost as fertilizer. To develop these actions, dissemination of information is imperative.
Keywords: vermicompost, household incomes, sustainable agriculture