GIE Sahanala is a hybrid, multipurpose company established in 2010 to provide alternative economic incomes to rural communities in two key conservation corridors in Madagascar. Sahanala principle products are conventional, organic or Fair Trade certified Vanilla and cashew nuts.
Given the significant social and environmental impact opportunities, particularly in improving alternative rural incomes and women’s livelihoods, Verde Ventures has made an investment of US$200,000 in GIE Sahanala in Madagascar. The investment will permit the SME to increase its processing and storage capacity, increase the volumes of cashew nut and vanilla products it is able to purchase and establish its own brand under the “Wild Lemur” name.
Sahanala provides important alternative income opportunities for rural populations in the priority Madagascar hotspot to sustainably utilize natural resources and realize economic returns from natural assets. Sahanala and Fanamby, an environmental nonprofit organization member of the GIE, work together to empower local communities to care for their natural habitat while enhancing their livelihood with additional revenue stream. Sahanala’s activities in 6 regions of Madagascar provide:
- disincentives to the local communities for clearing new land for hillside rice production
- support for the buffer-zone around the reserves and natural parks surrounding the villages
- corridors between several important protected areas
- a sustainable, non-extractive alternative source of income to local communities
GIE Sahanala directly employs 140 people. Of whom 80% are women, and 90% live in economically deprived rural areas of Madagascar. It directly impacts over 1,175 households.