This paper seeks to analyze the agricultural sector as an engine of growing in Madagascar. It will besides analyze the part of agribusiness and agricultural exports to the GDP. In decision, the paper provides suggestions for state-led intercessions that will assist undertake the quandary this economic system is in.

In 1960, Madagascar emerged as one of the better African states, holding an educated elite, strong establishments and good substructure. Due to mismanagement and the perennial political crisis during 1970s-1990s, the economic system grew by merely 0.5 % . A rift between the so President Didier Ratsikara and Malagasy politician Marc Ravalomanana, threatened to intensify into a civil war, and led to the 2002 crisis. In 2009, another crisis occurred when President Marc Ravalomanana stepped down under the force per unit area of the military, passing power to resistance leader, Andry Rajoelina.

Malagasy republic, the 4th largest island in the universe was non able to get the better of the political daze it underwent. Due to its political state of affairs, for old ages, Madagascar has been enduring. The political crisis impacted the economic system as export oriented activities and the public sector were affected. It non merely affected these sectors, but besides increased the rising prices rate and poorness. Gaps between the affluent elite and hapless population increased, with 89.6 % populating on less than $ 2 a twenty-four hours ( World Bank ) presently.

Malagasy republic referred to as the ‘Eighth Continent ‘ due to its natural diverseness stands out for its political misdirection, corruptness, poorness and deficiency of growing. The state is immensely abundant in resources and has immense possible to back up the economic system if tapped decently. The drawback of economic systems like Madagascar is that they are impacted by the ‘resource expletive. ‘ The political systems best suited to tackling natural assets are those least likely to develop one time natural assets have become of import in the economic system ( Collier, 2010 ; Sachs & A ; Warner 2001 ) . ‘ It besides says that, the greater the resource gift, the greater the chance of weak administration.

Harmonizing to Forbes, Madagascar is ill-famed for being the universe ‘s poorest economic system, strictly based on the political state of affairs in the state.



Madagascar was an agricultural economic system where the agricultural sector accounted for 1/3rd of the GDP, 80 % of the population ‘s beginning of employment, and was closely linked with the export sector, accounting for 70 % of its net incomes. The Malagasy agribusiness is rather diversified compared to other African states. The state ‘s dominant exports are vanilla, java, rice, and cotton. Madagascar produces trade goods like java, milted rice, silk, palm oil, cotton, sugar and hence, does non necessitate to depend on one trade good for its net incomes. For illustration, given the clip of enduring in 2002, being the 2nd largest manufacturer of rice in Africa gave the state hope of recovery via rice production.

Agribusiness histories for bulk of the population ‘s income. There is a relation between the agribusiness green goods in the state and the prevailing poorness degrees. ( Schneider & A ; Gugerty, 2011 ) . The type of harvest cultivated determines the public assistance and the type of families. Richer families are more likely to bring forth java, vanilla etc. than poorer families.

A sequence of political dazes and wining schools of economic idea from colonialism to socialism to liberalism influenced the economic development and growing of the economic system.

Despite its battalion of resources, the state is non able to tap these due to the deficiency of fiscal entree. The state depends on fiscal assistance coming in from givers like the World Bank, the USA, African Development Bank, and the European Commission. This assistance accounts for 40 % of the budget, and after the putsch, it lost $ 400 million in donor support. The other factors that affected the economic system are authorities instability, hapless policy reforms, corruptness, and periodic cyclone seasons.

Agricultural Contribution to the GDP

Harmonizing to the United States Department for Agriculture, there is a downward tendency in the production of harvests, every bit good as the growing rate of harvests, specifically rice, java, sugar, and maize, where sugar production experienced a drastic autumn from 2010 to 2012. Therefore, due to the climatic conditions and deficiency of production policies, lesser measures were produced and therefore incomes shrank. This autumn in agricultural production is proportionate to the alteration in GDP where an mean per centum of 30 % of GDP during 1999 -2004 fell to 27 % of the GDP during 2005 – 2011.

Figure 1: Agribusiness as a per centum of GDP over the old ages

Beginning: World Bank

Agribusiness and Investing:

Underdeveloped and ill maintained, Madagascar ‘s unequal substructure is a major obstruction to economic advancement, curtailing the exchange of goods and restricting development chances ( Nations encyclopedia ) . Madagascar has non been able to follow modern agricultural engineerings and the system has led to low productiveness because of the decrease in public investings, worsening efficiency of financess and debasement of resources. Recent betterments in entree to end product and input markets and in transit have proven insufficient for a important turnaround of agricultural activities ( Maret, 2007 ) . The dead betterment in the substructure besides reduced the production of agricultural merchandises. The province is non passing on substructure, an of import variable that can better the agricultural sector.

The job has been made even worse by an existent impairment of the substructure in the 1970s and 1980s. As of 2000, merely merely over 11 per centum of its 49,828 kilometres ( 30,968 stat mis ) of roads were paved. During the rainy season, many of these are wholly unpassable, insulating big parts of the state. Rail is besides in a parlous province, with a mere 885 kilometres ( 550 stat mis ) of path, in 2 unconnected systems, and most of it in really hapless fix. The debut of private hauling licences and the planned sale of the national railway company should assist, but the job remains a cardinal one.

The province needs to pass at least 11-13 % of the assistance they get from World Bank, US, etc in order to better substructure, such as irrigation canals and secondary roads, that have been damaged by cyclones, and on agricultural productiveness plans. ( Ploch & A ; Cook, 2012 )

Agribusiness and Export

Agricultural sector during the 1960s was the dominant export activity and grew at an norm of 4 % per twelvemonth. During the 1960s, 93 % of Madagascar ‘s exports were agricultural merchandises. Madagascar exports less since 2009 [ Figure 2 ] and imports more agricultural merchandises than earlier, and this is could be due to the ‘resource expletive ‘ .

Even though they are a comparatively unfastened economic system, they need to heighten their trade dealingss with states they carry out concern with. Madagascar should seek non to bring forth goods which are priced higher when compared to the universe monetary value. This monetary value would be like a monetary value ceiling above which it should non bring forth. The jurisprudence of comparative advantage refers to the ability of a party to bring forth a peculiar good or service at a lower fringy and chance cost over another. Even if one state is more efficient in the production of all goods ( absolute advantage in all goods ) than the other, both states will still derive by merchandising with each other, every bit long as they have different comparative efficiencies. Madagascar being the universe ‘s major natural vanilla manufacturer should export vanilla to Mauritius in exchange for sugar which Mauritius can bring forth on a huge graduated table at a lower monetary value as compared to Madagascar.

Figure 2: Agricultural Raw Materials Exports

Beginning: World databank – World Development Indexs

Overvalued exchange rate:

An overvalued exchange rate means that the demand for the currency at the traveling exchange rate is less than the supply. Exports become expensive, depress domestic demand and promote disbursement on imports. This rate leads to a autumn in foreign militias and reduces growing of the economic system. For case, the going from the Franc Zone in 1974 and the pegging of the Malagasy franc to a currency basket, every bit good as the execution of foreign exchange limitations, contributed besides to economic underperformance, which led to an over-valued exchange rate ( Maret, 2007 ) . Madagascar has a current history shortage of $ 2,256 billion for 2011 ( IMF ) and has bit by bit been increasing over the old ages. A solution to this job could be devaluation of the currency.

When the currency of a state falls or depreciates, it leads to an addition in exports. This is the possible consequence of a autumn in currency. The currency of Madagascar has been falling over several old ages, caused by political crisis and variableness in the sum of assistance received from abroad. Malagasy republic lost its credibleness because of the

the kleoptocratic regulation of French-backed dictator Didier Ratsiraka, where authorities functionaries stole 1000000s of dollars in financess ear-marked for assistance and development activities.A

This corruptness discouraged private sector development, scared off foreign investors, undermined authorities credibleness, and impeded poorness relief. The kleptocrats believe that they stand to derive more from taking a big portion of a stable or shriveling economic system than from a shriveling part of an increasing economic system ( Wild Madagascar ) .

As a consequence, the currency depreciation adversely impacted the state. In 2009, when the political crisis occurred, exports fell by about 50 % to 12.3 % of GDP and the state struggled to retrieve. Due to its copiousness in natural resources, the export portfolio shifted from dress to agribusiness and minerals. This displacement occurred due to the suspension of Madagascar from the African Growth and Opportunity Act ( AGOA ) , where a bulk of the occupations depended on these exports. After the suspension, workers were laid away from the dress houses ( African Economic Outlook, 2012 ) . This autumn in exports is the de facto consequence of the autumn in currency.


“ Change the province. Open the economic system more. ” – This should be the slogan for Madagascar to boom in the close hereafter. The authorities should concentrate on keeping economic stableness. Harmonizing to Karen Campbell ( 2009 ) , a state can accomplish stableness merely through financial and macro-economic policies that enhance the credibleness of the authorities.

Agribusiness was impeded, as outlined in the class of the essay. The manner frontward for the economic system to retrieve and turn is positive action by the authorities with respect to reconstituting the agricultural sector. An agriculture-driven growing generates a larger public assistance consequence, particularly for the poorest 20 % of the population. ( Kate Schneider, Mary Gugerty, 2011 ) .

The public presentation and working of the economic system depends on the political system. Since there is a relation between the two, they are non separate and unrelated systems. For a state like Madagascar, to better its economic state of affairs, its chief focal point and motivation should be on holding a strong authorities that will take independent and wise determinations, profiting the full state and non merely certain subdivisions of the population. There is a relentless deficiency of resiliency in the political system, which requires reforms ; for the set up of a secure and dependable institutional environment ( Maret, 2007 ) . There needs to be sufficient investing in research and development of staple nutrients every bit good as development route and irrigation installations. This strong institutional and infrastructural set-up will hike the agricultural economic system.

Today, universe over, there are non many agricultural economic systems left. Most economic systems have moved to service and industry-based economic systems. However, with its diverse resources, Madagascar would be best suited for an agricultural economic system with exportation of the merchandises ( International Fund for Agricultural Development ) . This will be good for long term growing, but some major jobs could be faced by the state, particularly in the short tally. An agricultural economic system in the universe today may non last for really long, and may go on to be a weak and dependent state whose resources are exploited by stronger states. The struggle over resources would decline through the leasing of cultivable land by other states. Farmers may non be compensated and trade goods would be exported, instead than functioning domestic demands. However, in order to increase efficiency in tapping these resources, private sector engagement is indispensable.

Role of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries:

The Ministry ‘s maps should concentrate on the design, coordination and monitoring of national policies, sector ordinance, and the proviso of proficient support to parts and communes for the execution of national agribusiness policies. In the longer term, ongoing reform should streamline the cardinal construction, strengthen regional board of directorss and increase overall staff capacity ( International Fund for Agricultural Development ) . The authorities should besides put up agricultural service Centres at the territory degree in an attempt to fit husbandmans ‘ demand to available proficient and fiscal services, including research.

Vocational Training and Agricultural Productivity Improvement Programme ( FORMAPROD ) :

This is a programme late started by the Government that will cover 13 parts covered by International Fund for Agricultural Development-supported undertakings. It will back up the constitution of a national rural and agricultural preparation system ; operationalise the regional system of rural and agricultural preparation and on-going vocational preparation, and increasing agricultural productiveness in the developmental poles ( IFAD ) .

Wayss to better the agricultural exports:

There needs to be policy reform aimed towards bettering agricultural exports. Subsidies can be levied to do the merchandises more competitory and cost-efficient and commissariats can be made for usage responsibility freedoms. Government passing on bring forthing the goods every bit good as importing them should be adjusted. The duties on imports and exports must be reduced to increase overall efficiency and fight.

Export publicity: Encouraging private participants in the agricultural sector, this method uses incentive plans to pull houses into exporting harvests by offering assistance and preparation for merchandise and market development, funding, preparation, trade carnivals, foreign representation. Madagascar can “ leapfrog ” larning from the illustrations of Taiwan and China, that were predominately agricultural during 1950s, which played major back uping function in the fast-paced growing and development of these economic systems.

Madagascar allows FDI in public sector, and this foreign investing must be brought to agriculture excessively.

Madagascar needs to heighten its trade dealingss with its trading spouses. This will enable more advantageous footings of trade. Adhering to the jurisprudence of comparative advantage, Madagascar must concentrate on vanilla in exchange for trade goods like sugar from Mauritius, since it is the universe ‘s major natural vanilla manufacturer.

The authorities should avoid the danger of the ‘Kitchen Sink Approach ‘ , which states that there is a danger in seeking to make excessively many different things in the hope that one of them will reconstruct economic growing. Madagascar should avoid presenting excessively many policies as there is a greater opportunity that the policy effects will countervail one another. The focal point at the minute must be on development of agribusiness and agricultural exports.


The paper concludes that domestic agribusiness every bit good as the agricultural export sector needs to be reformed in order for Madagascar to retrieve from the economic crisis. The province must play a dominant function in this recovery. It must be kept in head, that the failure of the province to exert its powers efficaciously was what caused the crisis in Madagascar in the first topographic point. In a underdeveloped state such as Madagascar, the province has to be the ‘strongest establishment ‘ to pull off and modulate the policies, instead than following a dictatorial function. As suggested by this paper, the manner forward for economic growing and development of Madagascar is a strong and effectual agricultural sector. Sufficient human and societal overhead capital must be invested in this sector to harvest the benefits of development and economic stableness.