Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, is the mainstay of Madagascar’s economy, accounting for more than 25% of gross domestic product and employing 80% of the population. Agriculture is dominated by small-scale, predominantly subsistence farming that is rain-fed and based on traditional technologies. Deforestation and erosion, aggravated by the use of firewood as the primary source of fuel, are serious concerns. Climate change adds a layer to the vulnerability of this sector. Climatic changes will negatively impact soil fertility, particularly in highland areas where increased rainfall coupled with deforestation is decreasing soil cover through erosion. Variations in rainfall and temperature, along with increased intensity of activity in some regions have already led to shifts in the farming schedule and calendars of local farmers, and consequently an increase in crop failure. Additionally, the water supply for agriculture is expected to decrease.
This section provides insights into the climate change impacts on agricultural productivity indicators and the trends in agriculture related socio-economic indicators.