Introducing: Project Pineapple.
Since 2019, we have been working with our Madagascan pineapple supplier on a three year project to train their smallholder farmers in good agricultural practices.
We can’t quite believe that our pineapple project is now approaching its third and final year! Since the start of the project, 329 farmers have participated in the educational training sessions and interactive workshops, organised by our incredible project partner and supplier; HavaMad.
The understanding and adoption of these new farming practices by the farmers is paramount to the success of this project. Although the concept of regenerative farming is not new, acknowledgement of its key principles has only recently been defined. For our farmers and for the project, emphasis is on enhancing and improving soil health, implementation of climate protection measures as well as optimisation of land management. In practice this involves soil preparation methods that help with fertilisation and disease prevention; alternative planting systems to prevent soil erosion and enhancing the biodiversity of the land, for example through beekeeping. These new techniques will build on the farmer’s own knowledge of organic farming.
We caught up with Holiharisaina who joined the programme in 2020 to ask her what she thought of the project so far:
LF: Hi Holiharisaina, can you tell us a bit about yourself?
H: I am mum of three but when I am not running around after them, I am farming my 2ha of land which can grow up to 6 tonnes of pineapple.
LF: Impressive! Thank you for finding time in your busy schedule to partake in our project! Can we ask what made you want to join the programme?
H: I have been wanting to improve my skills as I know only one way of farming. Joining the programme has really opened my eyes and improved my understanding of why soil health and protection is so important. I also wanted to grow more pineapples because having three kids is expensive!
LF: Don’t we know it! How is the programme going?
H: We recently went back to the demonstration plot we used last year to see how the pineapples [sowed with the new techniques] were growing. They are doing well! You could see that the plot has produced more pineapples already, but we will need to wait until the end of the year to see the final results. I am excited to adopt the techniques on my own farm in January (2022)!
Our aim with these workshops is to ensure that over 80% of the farmers that attend the sessions understand what they have learnt and that 50% adopt the new techniques. We cannot wait to update you all on the results of this project.
In the meantime, why not watch our progress video below :)