The Aspinall Foundation

CAZ West Project Market Gardening at Schools

Posted by The Aspinall Foundation on 20-May-2024 09:43:22

Last month we brought you an update on some of the activities being carried out as part of our current project in CAZ West in Madagascar, made possible with the support of The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund.  Here we would like to explain in more detail about the involvement of local schools.

School in CAZ West
School in CAZ West © The Aspinall Foundation Madagascar

Why involve schools and teachers?
Children have a natural desire to learn and often have a better ability to absorb new ideas and retain information. Teaching school children how to produce food using sustainable market gardening methods provides them with practical skills that will benefit them both immediately and in the long term. Food products once harvested will provide them with nutritious meals this year, and the knowledge they gain will support their food production capabilities throughout their time at school and as adults.

Training school teachers on market gardening and environmental education will not just assist the current generation in their learning, it will also enable them to continue that process for many future generations making the possibility of long-term change to sustainable agricultural practices across whole communities more achievable.  

Cultural methods practice EC Ranomainty March 2024 Cultural methods practice EC Ranomainty © The Aspinall Foundation Madagascar 

How training is structured
The training is being carried out in collaboration with a local NGO, Fanambinantsoa, who are experienced in teacher training, and it has been structured to provide a well-balanced combination of classroom style and practical sessions. For example, areas of study include learning about safe and balanced nutrition; the requirements for healthy plant growth; practical training in cultural methods and creating vegetable gardens; and practical skills for waste management and composting.

Compost making EC Andranomena March 2024 Compost making EC Andranomena © The Aspinall Foundation Madagascar

What has been achieved so far
Seven months into the project and 20 teachers across 8 schools in the project area have received their first two sessions of training in market gardening and environmental education. The schools have created their market gardens and over 400 school children have been involved so far. 

Vegetable Garden EC Andranomena March 2024School Garden Established at EC Andranomena © The Aspinall Foundation Madagascar

Thanks to the project we can also supply the schools with a variety of seeds at intervals throughout the two-year period.  The first distribution included seeds for food-producing plants such as lettuce, watermelons and courgettes, together with plants for green compost and multi-flowering mixtures to attract pollinators.

Cultural methods practice March 2024Sewing seeds © The Aspinall Foundation Madagascar

Whilst this is an important aspect of our project in CAZ West it is just one of several activities designed to offer a climate-smart ecosystem-based approach to enable local communities to undertake an important role in protecting the wildlife and vulnerable habitats on which they too depend. 

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of l’Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A fundamental goal is to ensure civil society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.

Topics: The Aspinall Foundation, Madagascar

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