Improving irrigation access in Madagascar

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  • AD2M participants saw improved agricultural productivity, largely through being able to grow crops in more than one season.

  • Productivity increases translated into greater income potential, with AD2M participants experiencing a 13.6 per cent increase in the value of crop production per capita.

  • AD2M also improved participants’ perceived food security, with programme recipients reporting less anxiety about having access to food.

Agriculture accounts for 28.2 per cent of Madagascar’s gross domestic product1 and is the country’s most common source of livelihood, employing more than 75 per cent of its rural population. Madagascar has an overall poverty rate of 76.5 per cent, with more than 50 per cent of the population affected by environmental and weather-related shocks. These environmental challenges are particularly acute in the Menabe and Melaky regions, where farmers are primarily dependent on rice production and related activities, and where rates of poverty and malnutrition are especially high.

In an effort to improve the lives of smallholder farmers in these regions, the International Fund for Agricultural Development funded the Appui au Développement du Menabe et du Melaky (AD2M) programme. The programme combined land titling with improved irrigation infrastructure to increase productivity levels and reduce farmers’ susceptibility to weather and climate shocks.
American Institutes for Research and LEAD Analytics used propensity score matching to measure the programme’s impact and explore whether and how large-scale infrastructure projects could benefit smallholder farmers.