Tovo takes stock of the last rain season

June 2016

Tovo lives in a small rural village close to the town of Ambalavao, located southwest of the Madagascar capital Antananarivo. Like most people in the area, including his father and grandfather, Tovo is a rice farmer. He still lives off the rice and the white beans that he plants throughout the year, one third of which are sold and two thirds are used to feed his family of 8 people.

However, Tovo has had a part time job for two years that allows him to increase his income and save some money to pay for his children’s school. He works as a tree planter and takes care of Greenamity’s growing forest. He admits his favorite tree is the jacaranda, because its purple color reminds him of his childhood and the family trips to the country’s capital Antananarivo.

Tovo explains that traveling from Ambalavao to the capital is not affordable anymore. Life has become very expensive because of the increasing prices of daily products such as cassava, oil and sugar. He is sure this is mainly due to the changing of the raining season and the harsh weather conditions.

In the last two years, Tovo has noticed important changes in rainfall patterns. He explains that now the Ambalavao area gets much less rain compared to five years ago. Also the distribution of rain has changed a lot: now most of the rains arrive at the end of the year while rainfalls at the beginning of the year have become very scarce. Tovo has noted that the last raining season was very short. This change will make the dry period 7 or 8 months long, which will make it harder for him to plant and live off his crops throughout the year.

However, he looks at the next months with some optimism, as he will have more time to dedicate to the trees planting project. He is glad he will be soon taking care of the baby trees that are entering the nursery in view of the next planting season.