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#281
Madagascar
Keymaster

The Betsileo is remarkably smooth. Unfortunately it is often spoiled by very cold breezes blowing from the East and are often accompanied by mist. “The thermometer varies from 3 ° to 27 ° according to the season,” said Dr. Besson, French resident in Fianarantsoa, ​​capital of the province. It recalls that the inhabitants of the Highlands divide the year into four distinct seasons. The “lohataona” (head of the year) or spring runs approximately from 15 August to 15 November. “This is the time of germination. The fahavaratra, or season of the great rains, runs from November 15th to February 15th. The “fararano” or late autumn, fall, going from 15 February to 15 May It’s harvest time and the main crops (rice, corn, sorghum, potatoes, beans, etc.). The fourth season is the “ririnina” or winter, from May 15 to August 15. This is a relatively very cold weather because we see the thermometer down to 2 ° or 3 ° and leaves cover sometimes frost. Also, the atmosphere is cooled by breezes, mists and fogs icy East. During the “ririnina” vegetation undergoes a pronounced downtime and most of the trees are stripped of their foliage, and in Europe during the winter. This “climate of excellence” and the qualities of the soil make the country rich in resources of all kinds. “All vegetables and other products come from Europe remarkably well on almost all points of the province and all our fruit trees and can be seen in the gardens apple, peach, plum, the Apricot, cherry, pear, vine, chestnut, even walnut living side by side with banana, coffee, avocado, mango, bibassier, jambrosa, guava, etc. Apple and peach are especially successful and give excellent results. In addition, livestock production may be successful, especially when green forage silage is used to provide supplies for the dry season. But “by carelessness, laziness and improvidence of the natives, the vast majority of fodder for livestock is lost.” But if cattle are everywhere an abundant food during the rainy season, the grasses dry out otherwise lose their juices and nutritional qualities thereafter, where livestock weight loss. At the end of the nineteenth century, “more than 2 million ha of grassland or rangeland is barely enough for the prosperity of less than 100,000 head of cattle, which represents 20 ha per head”! In the past, the chiefs of the country, Tompomenakely and Andevohova, have taken possession of all the grassy grounds of their fiefs or districts, and have forbidden their passage to the flocks of ordinary inhabitants. So many Kabary accompanied by severe orders reported all grassy land as state property in order to ensure their enjoyment either the settlers or indigenous livestock producers. Although pastors, Betsileo are mainly sedentary. They raise their herds near their farms in the “vala”, always finding abundant pastures without having to transport themselves far. “The prohibitions and harassment of Tompomenakely and Andevohova formerly opposed to livestock development in the country. But as a result of the abolition of the abusive rights of these local notables with the arrival of the colonizers, “this breeding is now called to take a new lease of life”. However, although breeders, the Betsileo especially of the countryside rarely eat meat outside the customary holidays. His power like that of all Malagasy is based on rice, cassava and sweet potato. They prefer to reserve for the market their cattle, their sheep, their pigs and poultry. Water is their drink in ordinary times, but they are nevertheless excessive abuse of rum. However, “the wine, beer, tea and coffee are little known that their name. However, they really appreciate these drinks and there is no doubt that they make use when our prolonged occupation have created their needs and the love of well-being