Madagascar Aims to Double Cassava Harvest to 7 Million Tons by 2027

Antananarivo, Madagascar – The Madagascan authorities have set an ambitious target to increase cassava production to 7 million tons by 2027, more than double the output achieved in 2022, according to Agence Ecofin. To achieve this objective, the government plans to enhance yield per hectare to nearly 14 tons through the promotion of appropriate farming techniques and the introduction of high-yielding cassava varieties.

Rice is the primary food crop in Madagascar, while cassava and maize are also essential staples. Currently, 60 percent of the cassava tuber supply is dedicated to animal consumption. In 2020, Madagascar ranked as the 13th largest cassava producer in Africa, according to FAOStat data.

However, the country faces significant challenges due to extreme weather events, including recurring droughts, which have a severe impact on agriculture and make farming households more vulnerable.

Despite a projected slight drop in cassava production to 2.1 million metric tons by 2026, according to Report Linker outlook, Madagascar has recently launched aggressive measures to boost local production. The agricultural sector contributes 24 percent to the country’s GDP and employs approximately 64 percent of the active population.

Under President Andry Rajoelina’s directive, the government has initiated the construction of a US$73 million aqueduct in the Great South, with completion expected by next year. This project aims to combat the devastating consequences of the prolonged drought that has affected the region for more than four years.

The World Food Program (WFP) estimates that this climate phenomenon currently jeopardizes the food and nutritional security of over 1.47 million people in the affected areas. The aqueduct infrastructure will span 97 kilometers, providing drinking water and irrigation to 60 villages across three districts.

Once operational, the aqueduct is expected to improve water access for 500,000 people and irrigate a combined area of 80,000 hectares of agricultural land in the long term.

Furthermore, the Madagascan Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock has signed a cooperation agreement with a Zimbabwean seed company to locally produce high-yield maize seeds, aiming to boost food security.

Additionally, the African Development Bank (AFDB) and the government of Madagascar have launched a US$20 million Emergency Food Production Reinforcement Project. This initiative aims to increase the productivity of cereal and oilseed crops in the country, further supporting food security efforts.

Madagascar’s commitment to expanding cassava production and implementing various agricultural initiatives demonstrates its determination to enhance food security, mitigate the effects of climate change, and improve the livelihoods of its farming communities.