[PhD’s Corner] Norontsoa Andriandralambo: Market information and entrepreneurship of peri-urban farmers in Antananarivo: Comparative analysis of the rice and vegetable value chains

Norontsoa Andriandralambo is one of the first #DigitAg labeled PhDs

Market information and entrepreneurship of peri-urban farmers in Antananarivo: Comparative analysis of the rice and vegetable value chains

  • Start Date: January 2016
  • University: Université of Antananarivo – Madagascar
  • PhD School:  Gestion des Ressources Naturelles (spécialité Agro-Management, Développement Durable et Territoire)
  • Field(s): Economic Sciences
  • Doctoral Thesis Advisor:  Pr Marie Laure Ajorque Rakotoarivelo (enseignant ESSA, Université d’Antananarivo)
  • Co-supervisors :  Hélène David-Benz (Cirad – UMR Moisa)
  • #DigitAg: Labeled PhD – Challenge 8 (ICT and agricultural development in Southern countries (Africa))

Keywords: Market information system, small producers, entrepreneurship, rice, fresh vegetables, Africa, Madagascar


The availability of market information is supposed to improve spatial and temporal arbitrage of farmers (Shepherd, 1997; David-Benz et al., 2012). Kirzner (1973, 2005) defines entrepreneur as the individual who adopts a posture of vigilance to profit opportunities. Capturing existing information in order to seize a market opportunity is related to entrepreneurial skills (Fayolle, 2005 ; Kawasaki, 2006). The entrepreneurial behavior, the capacity to identify a problem and / or malfunctioning on a market, and to turn them into a business opportunity, is determined by the availability of information, particularly market information (Verstraete et Saporta, 2006). Thus, being able to arbitrate in time and space and then to enter the market, is a matter of entrepreneurial skills. Therefore, the availability of market information should recurrently reinforce the entrepreneurial capacities of producers. Market Information Systems (MIS) have been making major advances in developing countries, backed by the spreading of information technologies. However, farmers are still marginally using these MIS (Galtier et al., 2014). In Madagascar, several MIS are developing new information services on agriculture products based on mobile phone, as well as other more comprehensive learning tools on marketing. What is the role of market information, disseminated through different ways, in entrepreneurship’s development at producers’ level?

The overall objective of the thesis is to renew the reflection on market information systems in a perspective of agricultural entrepreneurship. It aims to understand the role of short-term information disseminated via SMS, radio, agricultural technicians or on-line, and more broadly the role of market understanding in the decision-making processes of producers and especially the development of their entrepreneurial skills. It is involved to examin the determinants of the producers’ decisions, from the choices of production systems to the modes of insertion in the market, and the place that the information / knowledge of the market holds there. It will allow to articulate an approach in terms of capital (human, social, natural, material, financial) and of the producers’ entrepreneurial characteristics (innovation / creativity, risk taking, information watch, proactivity) to identify the determinants of the use of market information systems. The logic of producers, their decision-making and arbitration processes in the face of market opportunities, changes in behavior and changes in practices, and the emergence of an entrepreneurial spirit will constitute the heart of the matter.

The supply of foodstuffs to the capital of Madagascar (especially rice, staple foods, and vegetables, the main rice support) has become problematic given the increasing rate of population growth and rural exodus. Since 2005, the Observatoire du Riz (OdR), Rice Observatory, and the Système d’Information Economique sur les Légumes (SIEL), Economic Information System on Vegetables) disseminate market information on rice and vegetables, respectively. To be more concrete and relevant, the thesis will adopt a comparative and analytical approach between the OdR’s diffusion and the SIEL’s. The case of the rice sector and the vegetable sector in the supply basins near Antananarivo will be studied. In addition, the thesis aims to deepen the results of the InfoRiz / Parrur project on the place of information in the marketing strategies and rice marketing constraints, and to extend them to the case of vegetables, in collaboration with CIRAD, the Agrisud/Profapan project and FERT/Protana project.

In terms of development, the thesis is part of a research and development project on urban supply, which supports the improvement of a market information system. The evaluation of the different forms of dissemination and their impact aims to help guide the project’s interventions in order to better match the needs of producers. In terms of research, it contributes to broadening the impact assessment approaches of agricultural market support tools. In terms of collaborations, it mobilizes OdR, SIEL, FERT/Protana, AGRISUD/Profapan. FERT / Protana and Agrisud / Profapan implement the agroforestry program around Antananarivo funded by the European Union. Exchange of experiences and results could also be envisaged with other action research projects on MIS (FARMAF: Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Zambia).


Contact: norontsoaannie [AT] gmail.com


Communications /Publications


  • ANRIANDRALAMBO N., DAVID-BENZ H. & RAHELIZATOVO N. (2017). Providing market information to small farmers in Madagascar. Challenging ICTs suitability. Lyon, France, 11èmes Journées de Recherches en Sciences Sociales de la SFER, 14-15 décembre, 16 pages. http://agritrop.cirad.fr/586657/
  • DAVID-BENZ H.,  ANDRIANDRALAMBO N. & RAHELIZATOVO N. (2017). Disseminating price information through mobile phone: are Malagasy farmers ready for it? Montpellier, France, Conférence EFITA sur l’utilisation future des TIC dans le secteur agroalimentaire, des bio-ressources et de la biomasse, 2-6 juillet, 15 pages.
  • DAVID-BENZ, H., ANDRIANDRALAMBO, N., CHIMIRRI, C., SOANJARA, H., RAHELIZATOVO, N., RIVOLALA, B., RAZAFIMANANTSOA, T.D., RAKOTONARIVO, C. & ABEL-RATOVO, H. (2016). “Comprendre les déterminants de l’accès au marché des producteurs pour améliorer les Systèmes d’Information de Marché. Le cas des producteurs de riz à Madagascar”. Dans: DUCHAUFOUR, H., RAZAFIMBELO, T., RAKOTOARISOA, J., RAMAMONJISOA, B. & RAKOTONDRAVAO (Editeurs Scientifiques), Recherche interdisciplinaire pour le développement durable et la biodiversité des espaces ruraux malgaches. Application à différentes thématiques de territoire. Actes du projet FSP PARRUR « PArtenariat et Recherche dans le secteur RURal », Antananarivo SCAC/PARRUR, Ed. MYE, pp. 189-214.
  • DAVID-BENZ, H., ANDRIANDRALAMBO, N., SOANJARA, H., CHIMIRRI, C., RAHELIZATOVO, N. & RIVOLALA B. (2016). Improving access to market information: a driver of change in marketing strategies for small producers? Rennes, France, the 149th EAAE Seminar “Structural change in agri-food chains: new relations between farm sector, food industry and retail sector”, October 27-28, 21 pages.