The Edible Forests of Madagascar

28. March 2016

Do you still remember our Christmas Tea? Our Ayurvedic Christmassy tea creation was so successful and popular that many tea fans wished for a much longer Christmas season.

As you can read here, we supported the Naturefund in Madagascar with our YOGI TEA® Christmas Tea. We would like to tell you a bit more about this wonderful project with which we started off 2015.

Together with Naturefund, YOGI TEA® began a pilot project in Madagascar and trained ten smallholder families in the method of dynamic agroforestry. Dynamic agroforestry is a reforestation method with which a forest quickly grows and food is cultivated at the same time. This creates “edible forests” with a large abundance of products.

Naturefund has already used this method successfully in its projects in Latin America and wanted to know whether edible forests are also possible in Madagascar. The answer is clearly yes. The yields in the ten new edible forests are higher than in traditional cultivation. Some plants even have twice the normal yield! The ground also recovers well and can better supply the plants with water.

One of the “pilot farmers” is a member of Tsiry. Tsiry is an initiative by a handful of vanilla farmers who met in 2008 at a school in the village of Andampin’ny Fosa and decided to jointly cultivate sustainable vanilla. Their goal was also to help the families of the members and protect the environment. In the meantime, Tsiry has grown to 386 members. The children of all Tsiry members go to school, and none of them must stay at home and help in the field.

Dynamic agroforestry is ideal for the cultivation of sustainable vanilla. The vanilla tree originally grows in the forest and requires a variety of companion plants. The edible forests provide not only good and healthy vanilla but also a multitude of foods for the families. Tsiry has now asked Naturefund whether 50 more smallholder farmers can be trained in the method.

We are very pleased that the project is developing so wonderfully and are delighted to continue accompanying the Naturefund.

And for all those who already miss the YOGI TEA® Christmas Tea, we look forward to your response with one of our tea tag sayings: “Patience pays.” So simply wait until next winter – and drink a different YOGI TEA® until then ;)