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Clove based cropping systems on the east coast of Madagascar: how history leaves its mark on the landscape

  • Natacha Arimalala
  • Eric Penot
  • Thierry Michels
  • Vonjison Rakotoarimanana
  • Isabelle Michel
  • Harisoa Ravaomanalina
  • Edmond Roger
  • Michel Jahiel
  • Jean-Michel Leong Pock Tsy
  • Pascal Danthu
Article

Abstract

Clove farming developed on the east coast of Madagascar a little over a century ago. The species is largely cultivated and farmed by communities of smallholders. This study aims to characterize clove based cropping systems. There are three types of coexisting clove systems: monoculture where clove is the sole crop with inter-rows covered by wild grasses, agricultural parklands where clove is associated with annual crops (rain fed rice, sugar cane, cassava) and finally complex agroforestry systems where clove is associated with other crops (vanilla), fruit trees (lychees, breadfruit, jackfruit) and pepper vines, as well as some forest trees. The study also shows that the majority of existing clove trees in the various cropping systems are over 50–60 years old. Our study aims to characterise the different clove based cropping systems with the intention of establishing a typology by measuring biometric criteria associated with clove trees, by determining the accompanying species and by characterising the horizontal and vertical structuration of plots. From these observations, we suggest some evolutionary hypotheses of clove systems in an attempt to resituate this typology in a historical dynamic implicating the agricultural history of the east coast of Madagascar and the evolution of the smallholders’ strategies.

Keywords

Agricultural history Complex agroforestry system Clove tree monoculture Parklands Syzygium aromaticum Smallholder strategy Madagascar 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was performed as part of the AFS4FOOD Project (Agroforestry for Food Security) funded by the European Union and the African Union (Grant Number AURG/031/2012). It was conducted in partnership between CIRAD, CTHT and ESSA. It has received funds from the FSP PARRUR Project by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. The authors wish to thank the residents of the rural communities of Ambatoharanana and Ambodimanga II for their hospitality and assistance. Thanks also to Karen Newby, who translated this article in aid of the association “Words for Solidarity”.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natacha Arimalala
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eric Penot
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Thierry Michels
    • 4
    • 5
  • Vonjison Rakotoarimanana
    • 1
  • Isabelle Michel
    • 6
    • 7
  • Harisoa Ravaomanalina
    • 1
  • Edmond Roger
    • 1
  • Michel Jahiel
    • 2
    • 4
    • 8
  • Jean-Michel Leong Pock Tsy
    • 2
    • 9
  • Pascal Danthu
    • 2
    • 4
    • 10
  1. 1.Faculté des SciencesUniversité d’AntananarivoAntananarivoMadagascar
  2. 2.DP Forêts et BiodiversitéAntananarivoMadagascar
  3. 3.UMR InnovationsCIRADMontpellier Cedex 5France
  4. 4.Université de Montpellier, CIRADMontpellierFrance
  5. 5.UPR HortSysCIRADSaint Pierre Cedex, La RéunionFrance
  6. 6.UMR InnovationsSupAgroMontpellier Cedex 1France
  7. 7.Institut des Régions ChaudesMontpellier Cedex 5France
  8. 8.UPR HortSysCIRAD and CTHTTamataveMadagascar
  9. 9.FOFIFA, DRFGRNAntananarivoMadagascar
  10. 10.UPR HortSysCIRADMontpellier Cedex 5France

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