Fayswood, partner of the company TAM - Terres & Agroforesterie du Mangoro – has been involved since 2009 in Madagascar in the management of agroforestry heritages, in order to manage sustainably deforested hills, abandoned for decades to wild pastoralism, bush fires, or eucalyptus colonization.
Organic certification for an environmental and social project
TAM, meeting the criteria of the Earth & Forests program for its lands management, has been organic certified by Ecocert for all its products. The company priority programme is the strict respect for the environment, promoting the return to biodiversity through the diversity of species, in which the protection of fauna and flora is preponderant, protecting endemic species and promoting the return of animal species that had been obliged to migrate.
This environmental component is carried out through a social component that prioritizes local development and women, the latter representing 90% of farming providers, providing training, housing assistance and support for children's schooling.
Plantations, studied in such a way to eradicate clear-cutting and prevent from bush fires, consist in a mix of forest trees, fruit trees, culture species (coffee, spices, essential and vegetal oils), low crops as pineapple, pepper or aromatic plants.
The vast majority of the products are processed or used for the extension of plantations (seeds, production of plants, …) while the high-percentage slopes are planned for a livestock assignment. In addition, the company traced and geo-referenced hiking and cycling tours, and set up mini safaris photos dedicated to animals (lemurs, crocodiles, wildlife), birds and fabulous landscapes of the central Malagasy Highlands.
Fayswood’s activities are related to sites rehabilitation, sustainable management of plantations, nursery management, creation and maintenance of infrastructures, irrigation, soil fertilization and waste management, knowing that the company’s policy is to create an organic agroforestry based on maximum autonomy.
Respecting the environment goes through the bees. We couldn’t fail to take an interest in this. Madagascar, primarily destined to family farming, and classified as ‘poor country’, has this invaluable opportunity to be spared by the intensive use of chemicals inputs.
The role of beekeeping is fundamental to the pollination of fruit and vegetable crops and flowering plants, dependent on pollinator insects, whose honeybee is the leader.
The honeybee acts as a sentinel and alerts people about environmental damage and biodiversity. Observing the disturbances and mortalities of bees colonies, and especially by seeking to understand their causes, is essential for the protection of public health and the environment in which future generations will live.
The introduction of beehives in plantations was a logical continuation at the condition to move towards a sustainable and structured beehiving which would allow for a quality production respectful of the colonies and their direct environment.
The deforested and abandoned hills represented a major challenge in terms of planting: subjected to bush fires, runoff and erosion, to wild pasture, to colonization by eucalyptus or even sometimes being reduced to arid savannahs revealing only bare earth, tufts of grasses and shrubs, only a minor percentage of their surface was accessible to mechanized work, the rest having to be arranged manually
The choice of species dictated by common sense but also by ease did not correspond to the views of the manager : in consequence, it was decided to carry out tests which could be spread over a period of 5 to 10 years. Under this decision, the areas were divided between forestry and agroforestry, the latter being primarily reserved for the most accessible and protected areas, while forested areas would be raised to periphery and as hedges at limits of plots to create habitat for wildlife and a shield against wind and fire.
In addition to the multiple tracks desserving widely all surfaces, in the steep parts, terraces have been created, reducing the impact of runoff, retaining water, allowing access to mechanized work and facilitating maintenance and movement within the plots.
The first forest plants were integrated between 2012 and 2015 ; out of twelve planted species, three of them, which could not develop satisfactorily because of the dry season, were abandoned after 2 to 3 years although some plants remain alive. However, four species spontaneously appeared and we chose to let nature dictate its preferences while ensuring that we achieved our initial goal: installing an irregular forest.
Today we count thirteen different species of which three to four main to which join the fruit and cultured species (coffee, spices, essential oils). The forest, barely ten years old, has become a three-layer forest with abundant natural regeneration.