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Improved Carbonisation and decentralised Forestry Control in Madagascar (CARAMCODEC)

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The vast majority of Madagascar’s domestic energy requirements are met by charcoal, a wood-derived fuel. One Malagasy family consumes about 50-60 kg of charcoal per month and the households cannot afford another fuel.This wood consumption puts considerable pressure on forestry formations which are threatened with overexploitation, especially around the big towns. While it is not possible to decrease in the medium-term the domestic demand for wood fuel, the CARAMCODEC project carried out actions resulting in an improved supply of charcoal, leading then to a decrease wood cutting for the same energy demand level.The CARAMCODEC team has supported the Boeny Region and National Authorities in defining an improved forestry control framework for wood energy for Mahajanga and the other main towns of Madagascar, in the context of the decentralization of forestry management. The CARAMCODEC project has promoted and taught improved carbonization techniques in order to reduce the quantity of wood needed to produce charcoal in rural areas. These techniques are simple and affordable for the charcoal makers, unlike metal kilns and chimneys that are out of reach for these rural workers.


  • Development of a reformed system for decentralized forestry control with respect to wood energy:
  • (i)preparation with national and regional key players of an improved decentralized management framework for the supply of charcoal to the town of Mahajanga (made official by a regional Order)
  • (ii) definition of a national strategy for the supply of charcoal to the country’s major towns. The text has been submitted to the Ministry in charge of Forests and will be converted into a Decree revising the legal framework for charcoal production and trade in Madagascar.
  • Capacity strengthening of key players in decentralized forestry and wood-energy control in the Boeny Region
  • Promotion and teaching of improved carbonization techniques in the Boeny Region: (i) 6 trainers and 418 charcoal makers trained; (ii) edition of a handbook on carbonization best practices.

Lessons learned

  • The improved techniques have showed they can increase by up to 100% the carbonization yields and then the wood needs could be reduced by two.

Partners and coordinator

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French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD)
Contact point: 
Philippe Girard
0033 4 67614490/556133161524
Pierre Montagne
00261 32 07 169 60
Philippe Girard
0033 4 67 61 44 75


Key documents

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In brief

01/01/2007 to 31/05/2009
Contract number: