EDITORIAL: MADAGASCAR, THE TREASURE ISLAND
While Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world, the island has the rarest natural resources. Endemic raw materials, resulting from its unique biodiversity, that grow exclusively on the island. Vanilla, cocoa, precious stones, mangrove crabs and sea cucumbers, fished illegally and precious woods are all local products prized by Western or Asian consumers. Products that are ever rare - and always more expensive - that fuel the lust of luxury manufacturers including plantations and warehouses of vanilla, never open to the press, of Chanel, used for anti-aging creams "Sublimage".
Yet this natural wealth does not benefit local farmers. On the contrary: given to themselves by a weakened political power, subjected to the harsh law of barons of import-export and foreign negotiators, the cultivators of these rare resources are subjected to the most savage traffics.
Who has the idea that before being chewed in a bar of chocolate, the beans of Madagascar are disputed by gangs armed with machetes? Do we think, by enjoying a vanilla ice cream, that this know-how (with manual pollination) is threatened by both synthetic essences and the development of food crops, which are more profitable for farmers?
It is in the north of the island, between Nosy Be ( "the island with perfumes") and the east facade ( "vanilla side") that are found the flavors and the sweetest scents (90% of the market World of vanilla); But also the most violent trafficking, and the most crucial trade issues. In the valley of the Sambirano river, a natural paradise the size of an Italian province, multinationals, NGOs but also Chinese traffickers are engaged in a rush worthy of the American gold rush.
In the course of sublime landscapes, but difficult to access, we will reveal how are grown and traded the most popular products of gourmets, all located in a region "out of time". Telling the adventures of vanilla, chocolate and ylang-ylang also explains the stakes and paradoxes of globalization.