A dedicated micro credit fund for rural Madagascar

by Zahana
May 7, 2010

Potatoes – An example of microcredit seed fund

A bag of potatoes as seed stock
A bag of potatoes as seed stock

Dear friends of Zahana,

One very telling example for Zahana’s seed fund is the potato crop introduced to the village of Fiarenana in late 2009. The villagers were provided with 100 kg of small potatoes as seed stock. Potatoes were one of new crop suitable for a diversified crop rotation recommended by the agricultural expert who visited the village in September (?) 2009.

Zahana implemented that suggestion, hoping the potato crop can be sold at the market to generate cash income for the farmers in a season where the rice seedlings are already planted, but the rice ‘cash crop’ is far from being harvested.

The community decided to distribute 2 kg of potatoes to each family. Lists were meticulously kept, and each family was instructed to pay back their ‘loan’ in potato seedlings after the harvest, therefore increasing the community seed fund.

The potato harvest was very successful and over two tons of potatoes were harvested in the village. The only major problem was, admitted the villagers with great embarrassment to Zahana in March, that instead of selling the surplus potatoes, they ate them.

This example illustrates what success means for Zahana. From a traditional microcredit point of view the project is a failure, because it did not generate additional cash income for the farmers as intended. From Zahana’s perspective it was a huge success, because people did not only increase the community seed fund enriching it with a new crop, but also had food to eat in the “époque dure” or the “hard times” period before the rice harvest. The fact the potatoes are very high in vitamin C, is a great public health benefit during the rainy season where people normally go hungry for many weeks.

Thank you for your support.

Ihanta, Jeannette and Markus



About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information


Location: Antananarivo, Capital - Madagascar
Website: http:/​/​zahana.org
Project Leader:
Markus Faigle
Honolulu, HI United States

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.