The site selected for the project in the island of Madagascar is the area of Anstirabe. The closest major city is the capital of the country, Antananarivo.
The site is actually divided in two parts: the region of Itasy and Vakinankaratra in the island Central Highlands and the districts of Amparafaravola and Ambatondrazaka near Alaotra lake. The total area to monitor covers 3600 km².
The climate of the site is subtropical, including a cloudy and rainy season from October to April.
The main crops grown there are rice (irrigated or rainfed), maize, sweet potatoes, potatoes, cassava and fruit crops. The fields are generally very small (around 0.03 ha) and a lot of mixed crops can be found within the cultivated domain. The growing period is correlated with the rainy season from October to April.
Irrigated rice cultivated on terraces
Rainfed rice and associated maize
Irrigated (bottom) and rainfed (top) fields
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The coordination of the activities related to field data collection and product assessment over the Malagasy site is ensured by CIRAD (Centre de coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement). Additional local partners are also involved in the project:
- FOFIFA, the National Centre of Applied Research for Rural Development;
- FIFAMANOR (Fiompiana Fambolena Malagasy Norvéziana), the Centre of Research and Rural Development for Agriculture and Livestock, located in Antsirabe.