Sustainable yam markets for conservation and food security in Madagascar

Increasing incomes and enhancing nutrition from wild and cultivated Malagasy yams to enhance livelihoods for rural communities and conserve wild yam species threatened by over-harvesting and habitat loss

Yams laid out on road

Madagascan native yams comprise at least 45 species. Almost all are found nowhere else. They form a dietary starch resource that ranges from seasonal staples in specific regions to famine foods.

The yams are threatened by over-harvesting and habitat loss. A further species of cultivated yam (winged yam, Dioscorea alata) was introduced to Madagascar from Asia, and has potential to both improve lives and livelihoods and reduce wild yam harvesting if more extensively grown.

We aim to protect and enhance conservation successes achieved in the precursor project “Conserving Madagascar’s yams through cultivation for livelihoods and food security”. We are doing so via cultivating wild and winged yams and through providing business models at multiple scales, sustainable value chains, markets for processed tubers and nutritional information to guide policy. These interventions are improving food security, nutrition and livelihoods and conserving species.

  • Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich
  • Feedback Madagascar Ny Tanintsika
  • University of Antananarivo Department of Fundamental and Applied Biochemistry
  • Laboratory of Biochemistry Applied to Food Sciences and Nutrition (LABASAN)

Darwin Initiative (Ref: EIDPO049)