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World bank, 2012
Poverty headcount ratio at $2.15 a day (2017 PPP) (% of population)
Population below international poverty line

Minimum wage varies per sector.
Wage Indicator Foundation, 2023

National minimum wage

Equivalent to 651,972 Malagasy ariary for a typical family in rural Madagascar per month.
Global Living Wage Coalition, 2023

per month
Rural living income
World bank, 2021
Employment in agriculture (% of total employment) (modeled ILO estimate)
Agricultural workforce
World bank, 2022
Agriculture, forestry, and fishing, value added (% of GDP)
Agriculture share of GDP

ITUC Global Rights Index, 2023
Regular violation of rights.

Risk to workers' rights


Madagascar has a population of roughly 27 million,[1] of which 60%[2] lives in rural areas and the remaining 40% in urban centers[3]. Although agriculture accounts for 74% of total employment,[4] it is a sector that contributes only 22% to the country’s GDP.[5]

Madagascar has one of the highest poverty rates in the world, with approximately 77% of the population living with less than 1.90$ a day. Smallholders constitute the majority of farmers in the country and most of them depend on agriculture for their subsistence. Climate conditions in Madagascar are particularly harsh for farming, which causes yields to be highly uncertain. This is especially a problem for the southern part, where plots are usually below 1 hectare and agriculture serves merely as a source of subsidence. Poor yields are a major threat for farmers to meet their household needs.[6]

The top produced crops in Madagascar are rice, sugar cane, cassava, milled rice and sweet potatoes.[7] As for exports, the top products in terms of quantity are dry beans, shelled groundnuts, raw sugar, prepared fruit, cloves and cocoa beans.[8]

  1. ^ World Bank (2022).
  2. ^ World Bank (2022).
  3. ^ World Bank (2022).
  4. ^ World Bank (2022).
  5. ^ Word Bank (2022).
  6. ^ FAO (2019). Acting early to ensure food security for farmers in southern Madagascar: When you rely on the rain to live, what happens when it doesn’t come?
  7. ^ FAO (2020).
  8. ^ FAO (2020).


Minimum Wage

Minimum wage in Madagascar varies according to the skill level and the tenure size of agricultural and non-agricultural workers.[1]

Minimum wages are barely above the poverty level defined by the World Bank, and yet they are often not respected. In the informal sector, which accounts for 85% of the workforce, low wages and excessive overtime are common.[2]

  1. ^ Wage Indicator Foundation (2023). Minimum Wage-Madagascar.
  2. ^ U.S. Department of State (2019).

Living Income

The Global Living Wage Coalition has developed a Living Income reference value study for Madagascar, based on the Anker methodology.

The Anker Living Income Reference Value is estimated at 651,972 Malagasy ariary (138 EUR) per month. This value refers to the monthly cost of a basic but decent standard of living for a typical rural Malagasy family.[1]

  1. ^ Global Living Wage Coalition (2023). Anker Living Income Reference Value: Rural Madagascar.

What's happening


Living Income Reference Prices for Vanilla from Uganda and Madagascar

A Fairtrade LIRP indicates the price needed for an average farmer household with a viable farm size and an adequate productivity level to make a living income from the sales of their crop. This study, first published in 2021, was updated in 2024. 


Living Income Reference Value, Rural Madagascar

Living income estimate for a typical family in rural Madagascar to afford the monthly cost of a decent standard of living. Global Living Wage Coalition, 2020.


Bittersweet Vanilla

This report explores the contrast between the profits of vanilla trading and the poor livelihoods it provides for its farmers.

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