Sustainable Vanilla Initiative partners with CARE to aid victims of Madagascar Cyclone

Team to provide agriculture recovery to North Eastern Madagascar in response to Tropical Cyclone ENAWO.

The Sustainable Vanilla Initiative (SVI) has partnered with CARE to support vanilla farming households to rebuild their agricultural production of both food and cash crops after Cyclone ENAWO.  Funded through donations from SVI members, this $170,000 program aims to reach approximately 3,000 families and benefit 15,000 people.  The partnership between SVI and CARE will help ensure food security for these families long after the emergency food relief is done.

Through this year long program, CARE will target vulnerable women – with priority given to female-headed households – and provide access to seeds, replacement tools, and technical support.  This approach allows farmers to choose the food and cash crops that best suit their needs.

“Driving social and environmental change is fundamental to Frontier Co-op.  However, the challenges Madagascar and its farmers face are larger than any one company can solve.  Working together with the SVI and CARE allows us to go beyond our individual programs to support recovery of the whole growing region,” said Seth Petchers, Frontier Co-op Sustainable Supply Chain Manager and SVI Steering Committee Member.

“We are pleased to see such support from the global vanilla sector on behalf of this important recovery initiative in Madagascar,” said Craig Nielsen, Vice President of Sustainability for Nielsen-Massey Vanillas and SVI Steering Committee Member.  “By partnering together in this program, buyers and growers are helping ensure that farmers can successfully rebuild following this unfortunate disaster. Their efforts, supported by on-the-ground implementation from our partners at CARE, will ensure that the sector can be sustained.”

More than 80 percent of the world’s vanilla comes from Madagascar, primarily from the northeast growing area known as the SAVA.  In March of 2017, families within this vanilla growing area were hit hard by Cyclone ENAWO, which caused wind and flooding damage to homes, schools, and agricultural crops. Damage assessments of the impacted areas estimate that more than  400,000 people were affected; with 80% of houses  and over 50% of school infrastructure damaged. These families experienced damage in their rice fields, cash crops, and fruit trees. This has resulted in high risk of food insecurity, especially for the vulnerable groups and people that lost all the assets.

CARE has been involved in responding to emergencies in Madagascar since 1996, and has been playing a major role in disaster response and works increasingly with partners in the field.

“Since families’ priority is to meet food needs, their agriculture activities are focused on small plots of land. Agriculture recovery is vital for the farmers to get back on their feet especially in medium and longer term income generating activities and employments, which is especially in cash crops.  CARE’s timely recovery assistance will support not only families but also the entire local economy,” said Andriamiarinarivo Rajaonarison, CARE Madagascar Country Director.