Madagascar, 01/10/2010 - In 2005, AKF launched the Programme de soutien de la region Sofia pour le développement rural intégré (PSSDRI) with the aim of sustainably boosting rice production in the Sofia region of Madagascar. The majority of the work of the PSSDRI is done directly with groups of rice farmers in four districts of Sofia (Mandritsara, Befandriana Nord, Port-Bergé, and Bealanana). Since the programme’s inception, the yields of nearly 10,000 rice farmers (as of 2010) have more than tripled through the adoption of a number of low input-techniques proposed by the programme. Yield measurements show that average yield associated with integrated rice management practices is approximately 5 tons/hectare, whereas the yield associated with traditional farming practices in the area was 1.5 tons/hectare. A series of videos, produced in a dialect native to the programme area, was used as a training tool for scaling up from its initial pilot project to a larger number of farmers.
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