Madagascar News › Forums › Exposed › The Existence of a Dwarf people in southern Madagascar › Reply To: The Existence of a Dwarf people in southern Madagascar
The Notes conclude the overflight of the Malagasy forests by the raphias as they occur in the 1930s. While those on the east coast suffer degradation by men, those on the west coast are also not spared Men or by bush fires. According to botanists, this is very unfortunate, because the so-called “Raphia Madagascar type West Coast” fibers are the most popular in Europe, either because of their creamy white color or because of their large dimensions reaching 1m20 in length and 6mm wide.
They form fairly large spots between the forest massifs and all the more extensive as they are directed towards the interior. Through the development of
Communications, farmers gradually abandon exhausted coastal raphias to attack healthy stands in the districts of Kandreho, Maevatanàna, Ambato-Boeny and Port-Bergé. But at the time, they began to wear out in their turn.
It is especially for them that the special regulations are made. Indeed, it tends to promote their regeneration by means of appropriate reservations. Although in periods of crisis (as a result of the economic crisis of 1929 and the threat of the Second World War, not including movements of local demands), the Colony exports about
7,000 tons of raffia fiber, representing 20 million francs. This explains the conservation of these stands.
To synthesize this series of Notes, let us refer once again to the botanists who traveled the Great Island to identify the Malagasy flora and summarize the cycle they have accomplished:
“It highlights the multiple variations of Madagascar’s forestry physiognomy and the infinite number of species found there. “
Yet, are listed only a few main species. The botanists refrain, in fact, from mentioning the stands of Tapia where the majority of the cocoons of “landibe” (Malagasy silk) are harvested. At the time, they were no more than three or four massifs in Miarinarivo, Betafo, Ambositra and Isalo in Ranohira.
They also do not point to the Central West flora (Ambatofinandrahana), which is very special but “without practical interest”. They ignore “knowingly” the adapted foreign vegetation which supplements the deficiency of the local forest in certain parts of the island, especially on the Plateaux, but they can not be assimilated into the Malagasy sylve.
However, of these introduced species, they retain one, given its exceptional importance. It is the cinchona of Java (actually two species of the same genus). The cultivation trials of the plant are undertaken on a serious basis and after five years they seem to be performing well in the Antsiranana area. “The primordial role played by quinine in colonial medicine requires that these trials, which represent the national interest, be pushed as far as possible. “
To conclude, botanists point out that this list of species among many others and the very rapid indication of their use give an idea of the profit that Madagascar could derive from the exploitation of its forests. But on one condition, that this be conducted rationally, that is to say “by controlled cuts, after a reflective arrangement”.
But in the 1930s, it was not yet possible to “fully realize” the income of the forestry capital of the Colony. This requires the employment of a large staff and credits, above the local finances.