Help Farmers Rear Silk Moths to Restore Forests

by Conservation through Poverty Alleviation, Int
Jun 13, 2012

Farmer cooperation pushes program forward

Sand soils before treatment
Sand soils before treatment


We dedicate this newsletter to Elinor Ostrom (1933-2012) who received a Nobel Prize for her recognition of the cooperative ability of communities to increase their financial assets through the sustainable and cooperative management of their environment.  Her work is our inspiration.

CPALI/SEPALIM has worked hard to develop cooperative approaches that are paying off.  The first years of our work in Madagascar were dedicated to building trust among community members and our team,  and building farmer networks within and across communities.  We are now working in 14 villages and have registered 140 farmers. SEPALI Madagascar's latest newsletter records some of the results of our efforts: first cocoon deposits made by 9  farmers into our cocoon bank; 11 successful breeders;  6 m of non-spun textile made in record time by the Ambinanitelo women's group. 

Farmers are taking the initiative too.  Those that have planted trees but that do not have time to rear larvae are "renting" their trees and pupae to landless farmers in need of earning opportunities.  No money is exchanged between renter and worker but farmers share the proceeds from cocoon sales.  The farmers  are enabling all community members to participate in the SEPALIM program. 

DWELL on Design ( contacted CPALI for a sample of our textile to display in their June design fair in Los Angeles. We are excited not only because DWELL is THE top contemporary home design company in the US but also because they will be introducing our textile to west coast designers.  If you live in the LA area, stop by and ask to see our textile! 


We are proud to illustrate our soil improvement program. The team has been mulching soil in the demonstration site for  5 years and the result is over a foot of rich, topsoil that replaces the original black sand at the demonstration  site where Talandoha and food crops have been planted.  Improved garden soils are increasing garden productivity.
In October, Dr. Lydiah Gatare will set up a long term soil monitoring program in selected communities (with the help of the SEPALIM team) to quantify  the effects of silk moth host plants on farms.  We are grateful to Professors Drew Harvell and Christopher Barrett from Cornell's Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future for funding to support this initiative. 


Fertile soils after treatment
Fertile soils after treatment



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Organization Information

Conservation through Poverty Alleviation, Int

Location: Walla Walla, WA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Robert Weber
Project Leader
Lincoln, MA United States

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