28. Equal opportunity / low-input extension approach, PRRIE

1. Approach’s Outline and Features

This is a community-based extension approach named PRRIE, or Participatory Rural Development and Resource Management by Integrated Training for Equal Opportunity. It involves harmonizing efforts to conserve soil and boost the quality of life of local communities by assuring equal opportunities for all in a highly cost-effective manner.

  • How does PRRIE assure equal opportunities economically?
    • By providing wide-ranging training themes for the local community: More than 800 local trainers provided neighbouring villagers with training on simplified techniques such as tree planting, control of land degradation damage, energy-saving cooking stoves, lychee farming and aquaculture.
    • Training organised based on five simple principles: (i) Organize training sessions where relevant people live, (ii) Use locally available resources, (iii) Meet local needs first, (iv) Do not select participants and (v) Target as many people as possible
    • Expanding the target area when reaching a certain diffusion/adoption rate: Not targeting 100% diffusion/adoption is one of the points for extension in broad area to ensure high cost-effectiveness.
  • Major accomplishments using the PRRIE approach: Planting 2.38 million trees and encouraging leadership and initiative of local communities

Extension approach, Participatory model, Equal opportunity, Cost-effectiveness

2. Description of the project that is the basis for this approach

2-1. Introduction

Madagascar has more than 250,000 species of wild animals and plants, approximately 80% of them are endemic. However, forest trees are disappearing under ever-increasing deforestation pressure. This, in turn, is attributable to the growing demand for land due to soaring human population, conversion of forest land to farmland, slash-and-burn farming and fuel wood collection among others. Land degradation caused by deforestation is particularly prominent in the upstream central highlands, where bare hills are widespread and spectacular gullies known as “lavaka” (a Malagasy word for “hole”) are often seen.

Lavaka and sediment runoff flowing into paddy fields

As a general rule, those populating upstream areas are poor. And unfortunately, the fact that their agricultural practices, especially rice farming, are being impeded by the formation of lavaka is leaving them more impoverished than ever. Lavaka formation results in sediment running off from collapsed hillsides, from where it flows into farmland, bodies of water, irrigation waterways and roads. Furthermore, a huge amount of the sediment is carried by rivers and streams and spread over downstream paddy fields. This situation shows how soil conservation and people’s lives are closely interlinked. Under this backdrop, there is a need to develop a participatory model to promote soil conservation and boost livelihoods.

2-2. Details of the measures taken

  • This is a community-based rural development approach named PRRIE, or Participatory Rural Development and Resource Management by Integrated Training for Equal Opportunity, which has been applied to two JICA projects in Senegal and Malawi to date.
  • PRRIE is a training-based approach to ensure Equal Opportunities for All with high cost-effectiveness and comprising: Capacity-building for the local community through a series of integrated training sessions; monitored and followed up by local trainers.
  • The Ministry of Environment, Ecology and Forests (MEEF) and Ministry to the Presidency in charge of Agriculture and Livestock (MPAE) selected and trained more than 800 local trainers.
  • Local trainers, supervised by the MEEF/MPAE, provided training sessions for the local community (i.e. tree planting on degraded slopes, control of land degradation (lavaka)-causing damage, fabrication of energy-saving cooking stoves, lychee farming and aquaculture), monitoring and follow-up.
  • Training sessions are organized based on the following five simple principles and always open to the public to assure equal opportunities for all while achieving high cost-effectiveness:
    • Organize training sessions where the relevant people live
    • Use locally available resources
    • Meet local needs first
    • Do not select participants
    • Target as many people as possible
Training on tree plantation1
Training on control of land degradation-causing damage
Training on tree plantation2
Training on energy-saving cooking stoves
Air-layering or marcottage of lychees
Royal carp produced by a villager

(Perspectives on sustainability)

  • Creating a certain number of local trainers who function as drivers to promote tree growing and new livelihood improvement activities introduced by external agents using locally available resources.
  • Support for access to microfinance institutions and relevant subsidies to sustain villagers’ short-cycle income-generating activities such as rice or fish farming

3. Analysis of the approach

3-1. Impact


  • 800 local trainers were created
  • 8,500 training sessions were organized with 143,000 participants over five years

Actions by local residents

  • 2.38 million trees were planted, 100 lavaka were treated, 21,000 energy-saving cooking stoves were made, 23,000 lychee seedlings were produced and >122,000 carp fry were raised.

Feedback from local residents

  • “Unlike previous aid projects, everyone can equally acquire skills and even help people in trouble. We are glad about it.

3-2. Lessons learned

Incentives to Continue Actions

  • Encouraging people to create new activities to boost livelihoods, generate income and simultaneously help villages develop is what allows local trainers to maintain their motivation to function as knowledge and information hubs and thus spark ongoing actions on the part of the community.


  • Simplifying techniques to a level the local community can handle and expanding the target area when reaching a certain diffusion/adoption rate but not targeting 100% diffusion/adoption are keys when scaling-up to a broad area with high cost-effectiveness.
  • Proactively presenting the approach’s advantages in quantitative and qualitative terms to potential users (i.e. donors, NGOs and private companies working on CSR activities, etc.) is key to attracting their attention and mainstream and scaling up the approach.

4. Relevant information

NbS Approach Category4-1. 28
Title of the project the approach derived fromProject of Integrated Development Approach to Promote Environment Restoration and Rural Development (PRODAIRE)
CountryRepublic of Madagascar
Implementing term2012/2/10 – 2018/3/31
Implementing organizationsMinistry of Environment, Ecology and Forests (MEEF), Ministry to the Presidency in charge of Agriculture and Livestock (MPAE)
Supporting organizationsJapan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Report/Tool/GuidelineLIFE Model(*) User Manual (French)
(*) LIFE model is a Madagascar type model that adopts PRRIE           
1. Main Body           
2. Complementary work                      
2-1. Data Book                      
2-2. Users’ Manual of the LIFE Model                      
2-3. Annex
[Publication] Promoting more sustainable tree growing by smallholder farmers in remote areas: an insight from Madagascar https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14735903.2021.1914447
[AI-CD Website] Stop Land Degradation while Improving the Livelihood of Local Communities Through the Equal-Opportunity-for-All Approach
Contributors of this articleTakuya Shiraishi/Oriental Consultants Global