Biting the Bullet: Dealing with the Annual Hunger Gap in the Alaotra, Madagascar
Reibelt, Lena M.
Kull, Christian A.
Garcia, Claude A.
Waeber, Patrick O.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
The hunger gap (the annual period of hardship when most crops are growing but not yet ready for harvest) remains a reality for many smallholder farmers throughout the globe. With a population largely relying on agriculture, and high poverty and malnutrition rates continuously afflicting the country, farmers in Madagascar are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of the hunger gap, further putting pressure on already fragile ecosystems. Using a case study in the Alaotra region, we examine the seasonal trends of climate and agricultural resource dynamics, as well as characterize farmers’ experiences of and strategies used in response to the hunger gap, in order to assess how conservation may better consider the hunger gap to align its objectives with local needs. Results show that farmers are vulnerable to climatic events during a large part of the year, exacerbating the impacts of the hunger gap. The hunger gap appears to have varying degrees of impact on communities around Lake Alaotra, linked to factors such as road quality and agrarian structures—for example, land tenure and size of parcels—contributing to growing environmental degradation. We end by discussing various past and present responses aimed at improving the resilience of farmers of the Alaotra region, including improved accessibility, agricultural intensification, and conservation agriculture Show more
Journal / seriesSustainability
Pages / Article No.
SubjectFood insecurity; Hunger gap; Seasonality; Livelihood; Adaptation; Madagascar
146852 - AlaReLa Madagascar, the Alaotra Resilience Landscape (SNF)
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