Ongoing sustainable development projects
Additionally to certifications, Authentic Products put in place and follows daily different projects to improve living conditions of local populations. Projects driven by Authentic Products and Savanille are also financed by donations from major international customers.
Improvement of rice productivity, Madagascar's staple food:
The certified area consists of mountainous terrain; the traditional cultivation of rice and the most suited to this terrain is called Tavy. This consists of the clearing of plots and a slash and burn technique that results in deforestation, soil erosion, reduced fertility and a reduction in profitability. To combat these negative effects, test plots using contour terraces supported by vetiver have been set up. These terraces prevent soil erosion and maintain fertility, increasing the profitability of production. Rice is the staple food of Madagascar. Legume crops such as beans, which are high in protein, are alternated with the rice.
Diversification of cash crops
To combat the dependence on fluctuations in vanilla prices (which can represent up to 90% of a family’s income), clove and coffee tree nurseries were set up 2010. Five thousand clove trees and the same number of coffee trees have been planted. This initiative will be continued for ten years.
Fight against deforestation resulting from the demand for fire wood and timber
Nurseries have been set up to produce eucalyptus, acacia and hintsy plants (local species) which grow rapidly. These trees will provide firewood in 4-5 years and timber in 10 years.
Further boring of wells in each of the 38 villages
In parallel, Gigi and Authentic Products decided to fund the training of women by a midwife in order to spread awareness in the bush of health issues and contraception for women. Training and increased revenues are the key to longer school attendance.
Our next project: education
The next major development axe is education by financing a school from nursery school to the second year of primary school, the pay of professors and the pedagogic material offer.
Training and increased wages are keys for a longer education for children.
According Madagascan government, 80% of children between 6 to 11 years old are educated in grammar school, but only 10 to 15% from 12 to 15 years old are in primary school. Only 3% continue education in secondary school. The lack of financial means is systematically advanced by families.