Household-level agricultural inputs-outputs, off-farm income and wild-harvested products survey in eastern Madagascar

Poudyal, Mahesh and Rasoamanana, Alexandra and Andrianantenaina, Spener Nilsen and Mandimbiniaina, Rina and Hockley, Neal and Razafimanahaka, Julie Hanta and Rakotomboavonjy, Victor and Rabakoson, Jean Charles and Ambinintsoa, Jacyntha and Randrianarisoa, Manjakarivo and Jones, Julia Patricia Gordon (2018). Household-level agricultural inputs-outputs, off-farm income and wild-harvested products survey in eastern Madagascar. [Data Collection]. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Archive. 10.5255/UKDA-SN-852790

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Zafy lives in a village on edge of the forest in Madagascar. He wants the best for his family and so uses the resources and options he has open to him and clears a patch of forest to grow hill rice. His hard labour pays off and he is able to sell a small surplus. Rakoto farms rice on the valley floor. In good years, when there is plenty of water, he produces more than his family can eat. However as the forest on the slopes continues to be cut, water in the dry season is reduced, and there are fewer and fewer good years. That tropical deforestation threatens species' survival is well known to the general public. There is also increasing awareness that it contributes to climate change (through the release of carbon stored in trees and soils). Zafy's story demonstrates that although cutting down forest is often presented as wanton destruction, it may well be a perfectly sensible choice for the people directly involved. It also shows that some negative impacts of deforestation may be felt locally as well as globally. In recent years a new approach to conserving tropical forests has evolved. The central idea is that those who benefit from the existence of forest should pay those who would otherwise cut it down. This concept is known as payment for ecosystem services and has come to dominate discussions about rainforest conservation. People who support this approach argue that it will benefit poor people like Zafy, who will be compensated for not clearing forest, through cash payments or development activities in their area. In addition, the land-use changes which will be encouraged under the payment schemes (protecting forest or planting new forest) may benefit other poor people in the area; for example Rakoto may benefit from increased forest cover through improved flow of water to his rice fields. Unfortunately nothing is ever as simple as it seems. While these payments for ecosystem services schemes are attracting millions of dollars, and there is a commitment by many involved to ensure they are beneficial for poor people, questions remain both about the impact current schemes are having on the poor and about how these schemes could be designed to realise any potential for alleviating poverty while avoiding harm. These vitally important questions need a research approach which brings together specialists with a range of expertise. Our team involves sociologists, economists, ecologists, hydrologists, remote sensing experts and modellers who will explore the complex ways in which international ecosystem service payments affect the lives of poor people. Specific questions we will address include quantifying the benefits which lowland rice farmers may expect from increasing forest cover, exploring the costs (and who bears them) of reduced access for wild-product harvesting, and investigating how politics and social structures influence how any benefits from payments are distributed. We focus on a single area (the eastern rainforests), in a single country (Madagascar). Such a narrow focus is necessary to get the complete picture which takes account of all the interactions between ecological and social systems. Although we focus field work within Madagascar, and our results will directly influence payment schemes in the country, our project's findings will also have a much wider impact. We are working closely with those involved in developing the policies which underpin payment schemes, and in implementing them on the ground both in Madagascar and worldwide. Our project will result in scientific papers which push the boundaries of interdisciplinary research, and interesting coverage in the media and on our project website. However through this wider engagement our project will also result in concrete changes to the design of payment schemes which should improve the lives of people like Rakoto, Zafy and their families, wherever they live in the world.

Data description (abstract)

This data collection consists of primary dataset with accompanying documents for ''Agricultural inputs-outputs and off-farm income' and 'Wild-harvested products' segments of the data for work packages 6 and 3 (WP6 and WP3) of the Ecosystem Services for Poverty Alleviation (ESPA)-funded P4ges project (Can Paying for Global Ecosystem Services reduce poverty?). These parts of the work packages are concerned with the socio-economic aspects of the research undertaken within the P4ges project. The survey was conducted with a sub-sample of the households selected after the first round of the surveys, data for which is previously archived (see Related Resources). This phase of the surveys were designed to look more in-depth at the agricultural practices, plot-level productivity, off-farm income, and collection and use of wild harvested products. The data was collected between August 2014 and November 2015 and comprises of 171 households (169 for wild-harvested products survey).

Data creators:
Creator Name Affiliation ORCID (as URL)
Poudyal Mahesh Bangor University
Rasoamanana Alexandra University of Antananarivo
Andrianantenaina Spener Nilsen University of Antananarivo
Mandimbiniaina Rina University of Antananarivo
Hockley Neal Bangor University
Razafimanahaka Julie Hanta Madagasikara Voakajy
Rakotomboavonjy Victor Madagasikara Voakajy
Rabakoson Jean Charles Madagasikara Voakajy
Ambinintsoa Jacyntha Madagasikara Voakajy
Randrianarisoa Manjakarivo Madagasikara Voakajy
Jones Julia Patricia Gordon Bangor University
Name Affiliation ORCID (as URL)
Gibbons James Bangor University
Ramamonjisoa Bruno S. University of Antananarivo
Andriatsitohaina Ntsiva University of Antananarivo
Andriatsimanarilafy Raphali Madagasikara Voakajy
Randrianavelona Roma Madagasikara Voakajy
Sponsors: Natural Environment Research Council, Department for International Development, Economic and Social Research Council
Grant reference: NE/K010220/1
Topic classification: Natural environment
Keywords: household surveys, poverty, livelihood, madagascar, wild harvested products, conservation, forest resources, swidden agriculture
Project title: Can paying 4 global ecosystems services reduce poverty?
Grant holders: Julia Patricia Gordon Jones, Kathrin Schreckenberg, Neal Hockley, James Gibbons, Bruno Ramamonjisoa, Mike Christie
Project dates:
1 September 201331 August 2017
Date published: 07 Aug 2017 14:23
Last modified: 23 Apr 2018 14:03

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