Seeds of change


Project :

Seeds of change

The “Seeds of Change” project aims to combat food insecurity and protect the unique biodiversity of the Makay Protected Area. Through school gardens, local communities learn about agroecology and how to grow, cook and eat new, more resilient vegetables that can grow when rice is in short supply. They are also trained in a new rice-growing technique that offers higher yields and less water consumption. Community granaries are also set up to control stocks throughout the year and regulate rice prices. Produce from the vegetable gardens is also used to feed school canteens, encouraging school enrolment.


An emergency context

The island of Madagascar isexceptionally rich in biological diversity. Unfortunately, with the vast majority of its forest cover gone, this unique biodiversity can now only be found in rare, preserved environments such as the Makay, a spectacular massif of ruiniform sandstone that has become a veritable treasure chest for nature.

The temporary but increasingly durable and regular settlement of groups of villagers in the Makay forests – deforesting entire plots and harvesting lemurs, tubers, palms and firewood – is now a major source of income. the most serious impact on the region’s sensitive natural habitats and unique biodiversity.

These population movements are due to periods of famine, themselves mainly due to total dependence on rice. The latter, which is vulnerable to disease, locust invasions and the vagaries of the weather, requires an enormous amount of water. In recent years, however, rainfall significantly decreased in the region. As a result, villagers are increasingly forced to take to the forest to find the food they need to survive.

“Fighting famine and enabling food diversification for the people of Makay”.

Food diversification to combat famine

Our objectives

  • Combating famine by diversifying crops and providing a varied diet
  • Stop deforestation and prevent subsistence poaching
  • Raising awareness and training communities to grow a variety of seeds
  • Train local people in SRI, an alternative rice-growing technique that requires less water and produces higher yields.
  • Counter inflation in rice prices by guaranteeing stocks
  • Free daily meals for schoolchildren

our Method

In each village, at least 3 local farmers are recruited to join an agroecology training structure for several weeks. On their return to the village, they develop – under the responsibility and guidance of a technician – a kitchen garden school that villagers are invited to visit regularly to discover the new cultivation practices and seeds used.

Benefiting from the skills of two specialized technicians, villagers who so wish can also take part ina 45-day training course to help them cultivate their rice fields using the SRI (System of Intensive Rice Cultivation) method .

In each locality, a cook is recruited and trained by professionals, so that the villagers can then be trained to cook the new vegetables.

Together, the cook and a few volunteer villagers (school parents) prepare and distribute – free of charge – the school canteen meals using vegetables and fruit harvested from the kitchen garden. A building is erected in each village to store foodstuffs and the necessary cooking equipment (also provided).

Finally, a granary is built in each village so that the inhabitants can store part of their rice harvest and buy rice during the lean periods at the same price as at harvest time.


our Needs

In each beneficiary village, the total cost of implementing this project is estimated at €30,000.

This amount covers the construction and equipping of 1 school canteen and 1 community granary, and the establishment of 1 school vegetable garden. It also provides funding for 1 year to cover the salaries of the project manager, farmers and cooks, as well as trainers and technicians specialized in SRI, team travel expenses, etc.

Funding scale :

  • 10€: 1 month’s school lunch for 1 child
  • 200€: 1 month’s salary for the project manager
  • 4,000€: 1 operational community granary
  • 6,000€: 1 operational school canteen
  • 8,000€: 1 village trained in the SRI technique
  • 12,000€: 1 operational school garden
  • 30,000€: 1 beneficiary village (includes 1 rice field, 1 vegetable garden, 1 granary, 1 school canteen, all salaries included)
Food diversification

“Dietary diversification as a solution to stop deforestation and avoid subsistence poaching”.


In each village, this project will directly benefit from:

  • The various teams hired (farmers, cooks, technicians and trainers, etc.) and their families,
  • More than 100 schoolchildren will be offered a free school canteen – which will be a great relief to their families – and will thus have the right to an education and, no doubt, a less precarious future,
  • All the villagers (between 200 and 1000 people depending on the village), who will be able to benefit from the seeds and free training provided by local farmers and trainers employed by the association, and thus improve the diversity and yield of their own plots.

Why support us?

You wish to

  • help protect biodiversity
  • contribute to the development of sustainable agriculture
  • fighting malnutrition

Who are we?

Naturevolution, which was behind the creation of the New Makay Protected Area, is now the manager mandated by Madagascar’s Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development.

To respond to all the threats facing the massif, its biodiversity and its populations, the association is deploying an ecosystem of complementary initiatives ranging from awareness-raising and humanitarian aid to agro-ecological diversification, the development of sustainable economic alternatives such as ecotourism, scientific research and reforestation.

Our supporters

Alp'iso renov logo
Humy logo

We are still looking for funds to complete and extend this project. Help us make it happen with a donation!