ANDAPA – In the last three years, the U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), helped vanilla producers in the SAVA region increase their income and access to markets while protecting the environment.
The project supported premium vanilla sales, contributed to a 280 percent increase over a three-year period, and sequestered more than five million tons of carbon. Major accomplishments also include Rainforest Alliance Certification and Grown For Good Certification for more than 3,000 participating farmers.
USAID, NCBA CLUSA, McCormick Global Ingredients Limited Company, and local export companies implemented this public-private partnership project that helped cooperatives produce more than 300,000 seedlings and improve natural resource management of more than 5,000 hectares of land. The project also improved the financial literacy and social safety nets of farmers and their families and created 55 new village savings and loan groups, consisting of over a thousand members, and improved the access to health services for 435 households.
At the close-out event in Andapa, USAID Sustainable Environment and Economic Development Office Director Benjamin Skolnik remarked, “Despite the volatility of vanilla markets in Madagascar, this project was able to improve the incomes of producers while having a significant impact on the local environment. Linking improved productivity with healthy forests is really the key to economic and environmental prosperity.” USAID intends to continue work in this region through future activities.
The United States stands side by side with Madagascar to safeguard the country’s unique biodiversity. Since 2013, USAID has committed nearly $80 million in programs that promote sustainability, improve livelihoods for local communities, bolster governance of natural resources, diminish international wildlife trafficking, and protect thousands of hectares from illegal exploitation.