CIRAD undertakes research in Madagascar to make optimum use of the country’s exceptional biodiversity, manage environmental services and promote an agroecological approach to sustainable agriculture, especially for family farms in the Highlands. These operations are conducted in partnership with the main research institutions, universities, and development stakeholders. CIRAD also contributes to various observatories supporting development and public policies (land tenure, value chains, world agriculture, etc) and works together with regional networks on product quality, food security and safety, emerging animal diseases and territorial development in the Indian Ocean.
Rice and maize fields in Madagascar © F. Monicat, CIRAD
Rice and maize fields in Madagascar © F. Monicat, CIRAD

Rice and maize fields in Madagascar © F. Monicat, CIRAD

A few focal points

CIRAD’s Southern Africa and Madagascar regional office is based in Antatanarivo, and CIRAD operates out of three sites: Antananarivo, Antsirabe and Taomasina.

Strong commitment to training

CIRAD is involved in training through research with 30 supervised or co‑supervised theses, 250 hours of courses given each year at the University of Antananarivo, and more than 50 Malagasy and French trainees instructed in Madagascar, Réunion, or Montpellier over the past five years.

A wide range of observation, experimental and application sites

The research carried out in Madagascar benefits from the diversity and richness of some very different agroecosystems: Highlands, Lake Alaotra, the East Coast, etc.

Main research areas

Madagascar offers a wide range of observation, experimental and application sites in highly differentiated agroecosystems (Highlands, Lake Alaotra, East Coast, etc). CIRAD’s research in Madagascar is totally in line with its six priority research topics.

  • Governance and public policies
  • Sustainable farming systems
  • Agroecology
  • Territorial development
  • Animal Health
  • Forests and Biodiversity
  • Plant and animal product processing
  • Wood-energy

An integrated and participatory approach to sustainable wood-energy production for Antananarivo

Key figures

  • 20 expatriate researchers
  • 80 missions per year
  • 15 PhD students supervised
  • 19 current project

Cooperation and partnerships

From its outset, CIRAD has had a strong presence in Madagascar and the Indian Ocean and has established some long-standing partnerships built on trust with most of the research and development operators, be it with national institutions (research institute, universities, ministries, etc), local institutions (administrations, farmer organizations, NGOs and development operators, etc) and international organizations (FAO, EU, IOC, etc.).

CIRAD maintains a daily partnership with development stakeholders: ministries, farmer organizations, the voluntary and private sectors, major AFD, FFEM and EU projects, etc. It is also responsible for representing Agreenium, the French national consortium for agriculture, food, animal health and the environment, and for promoting French research for development (AIRD) in synergy with IRD’s representatives for Madagascar, the Comoros, the Seychelles and other island states in the Indian Ocean.

CIRAD researchers are hosted on the premises of certain partners: FOFIFA, CTHT, FIFAMANOR, Land Tenure Observatory and Pasteur Institute Madagascar.

Platforms in partnership for research and training

Our main Malagasy partners


  • Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research - MESUPRES
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries - MAEP
  • Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development - MEDD
  • Ministry of Land-Use Planning - MATE
  • Ministry of Public Health - MSP

National research centres 

  • National Centre for Applied Research on Rural Development - FOFIFA
  • Centre for Research and Rural Development in Agriculture and Livestock - FIFAMANOR
  • Universities
  • National Research Centre for the Environment - CNRE
  • Pasteur Institute Madagascar - IPM

National NGOs 

  • Groupement des semis directs de Madagascar (agroecology professionals) - GSDM
  • Action intercoopératives de Madagascar - AIM
  • Centre technique agroécologique du sud - CTAS
  • PARTAGE, forestry development NGO

National producer associations and organizations 

  • Association for the progress of farmers - FIFATA
  • SOA network, union of agricultural organizations
  • Forum for agricultural advice – FCA

Private operators 

  • Tamatave Horticultural Technical Centre - CTHT
  • Société commerciale laitière de Madagascar - SOCOLAIT
  • Société d'appui aux coopératives - SOCODEVI