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- This FEWS NET Enhanced Market Analysis (EMA) report presents findings to inform regular market monitoring and analysis in southern Madagascar. The information can be used to support the design of food security programs, including but not limited to informing a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bellmon determination in advance of an FY 2019 USAID Funded activity.
- The Madagascar EMA involved a mixed-method approach, combining the collection, review, and analysis of primary and secondary data from various stakeholders. Primary data were collected through a field assessment between June 24 and July 8, 2018, by a team of FEWS NET staff and international and local consultants, supported by local guides. The team met with stakeholders in Antananarivo, Fianarantsoa, and the prioritized areas of interest (AOI) in Atsimo-Andrefana and Androy Regions (“Grand Sud”) and Vatovavy Fitovinany and Atsimo-Atsinanana Regions (“Sud Est”) (Figure 2). The EMA assessment was done in the context of longstanding arid drought conditions in the Grand Sud and at least one cyclone per year in the Sud Est.
- The EMA analyses five main commodities; rice, sorghum, pulses, edible oil, and Corn Soya Blend (CSB), henceforth referred to as the focus commodities. A relatively coarser analysis was undertaken for other staple foods and wild foods, as relevant by region. Livestock (meat and milk) markets were analyzed in Androy and Atsimo-Andrefana regions and fish markets were analyzed in Vatovavy Fitovinany, Atsimo-Atsinanana, and Androy regions.
- The findings indicate that several modalities are likely feasible at scale as part of a future program across the AOI in Madagascar. These include: In-kind Title II assistance in the form of rice, pulses, edible oil, and Corn Soya Blend; cash transfers (including vouchers) in areas with easily accessible and well-supplied markets, adequate beneficiary (vendor) capacity, and access to financial services; and food-for-assets (FFA)/cash-for-assets (CFA) in areas where community asset needs can be met through such activities.
- Crop sales and casual agricultural labor are among the most prominent income sources among poor and very poor households across the AOI. Agricultural production in the Grand Sud is composed mainly of staple food production (e.g., cassava and maize), while agricultural production in the Sud Est is more diverse and includes cash crops (e.g., banana, coffee, litchi, cloves, vanilla). More regular and diverse casual labor opportunities exist in the Sud Est, contributing up to 30–50 percent of annual cash income there, versus 15–30 percent in the Grand Sud.
- Household expenditures follow seasonal patterns and are similar across the AOI. Food purchases are highest during the lean period from October to March (August to March for the poorest households) and account for 50–80 percent of average annual expenditures in the AOI. Health expenses are notable from February to June when malaria and waterborne diseases are more common. Social ceremonies such as funerals take place throughout the year but are most common September and October in the Grand Sud. Circumcisions, another important social ceremony, typically take place between June and August.
- Rice is the main staple food in Madagascar, but actual household consumption varies across the AOI based on accessibility and/or availability. Important localized consumption patterns arise based on local production and price trends. In the Grand Sud, households typically consume yellow maize, dried cassava, sweet potato, and cowpeas. Beef (zebu) and goat meat are the most consumed animal protein, although eaten in small quantities and on rare occasions. Households in the Sud Est consume local rice (including red and white varieties), substituting imported rice when local rice is scarce and relatively more expensive; fresh cassava (available year-round); and white beans (substituted with cowpeas when prices increase). Fish is the most consumed animal protein according to household surveys.
- The self-sufficiency status of the AOI varies by commodity and by region. The entire AOI is structurally deficit in terms of rice, relying on imports from other areas of the country and international markets to fill local gaps. Maize and cassava production from both southern and central Madagascar (Ambovombe, Ambalavao, and Ankaramena in Haute Matsiatra Region) supply the Grand Sud. Sorghum production is minimal, and very limited quantities are sold on markets. Many varieties of pulses are produced and consumed in the AOI, such as white and red beans, mung beans, black-eyed peas, and cowpeas, among others, with minor localized preferences for one variety over another depending on the area. In general, cowpeas and black-eyed peas are more consumed in the Grand Sud whereas different varieties of pulses are consumed in the Sud Est. Local pulse production in the AOI is complemented by supplies from Toliara and Morondava in the Sud Est and Bekily and Toliara in the Grand Sud. Most households purchase imported, refined edible oil that is readily available on markets but not fortified.
- A range of wild foods are commonly consumed by poor and very poor households in the AOI, providing between one to two months of total annual food consumption. In the Grand Sud, yellow cactus fruit is consumed in February and March, at the end of the lean season, contributing up to 30 percent of consumption during those specific months. Red cactus fruit and cactus leaves are consumed only as a coping mechanism. In the southeast, poor and very poor households consume both wild and cultivated breadfruit between January and June.
- Artisanal, small-scale fishing takes place from September to March in the Sud Est. Lower-quality fish are consumed domestically either fresh, smoked, or dried and salted. Fish and seafood purchases account for, on average, 7 percent of annual household expenditure. Fish consumption in the Grand Sud is very limited as fishing is not common due to strong winds, cultural tendencies, and distance from the ocean in inland areas. Culturally, zebus are raised for breeding rather than consumption, as wealth is displayed by the number of cattle owned, particularly in the Grand Sud. Zebu are often the target of banditry in Madagascar, causing insecurity. Some poor households own zebu for manual labor (e.g., pulling carts and plowing fields). Many poor and very poor households raise goats, sheep, and chickens mainly as a source of income rather than for their own consumption. Few households in the AOI raise pigs. Households in the AOI spend up to 5 percent of annual expenditures on meat consumption, typically only for special occasions.
- The Grand Sud and Sud Est face distinctly different hazards that result in food insecurity. Households in the Grand Sud report prolonged dryness for the past 10 to 12 years, resulting in consecutive years of poor production. The Grand Sud has been classified as IPC Phase 2 (Stressed) or higher in more than 90 percent of FEWS NET analysis cycles in the past three years. The Sud Est suffers from cyclones from January to April, resulting in yearly flooding and destruction of infrastructure.
- The availability of infrastructure and other supporting services necessary for the management and distribution of in-kind commodities is generally a challenge. Three main ports serve the AOI: Toamasina, serving the Sud Est, and Toliara and Taolagnaro, serving the Grand Sud. The Sud Est is also regularly served by the Port of Taolagnaro and in exceptional circumstances by Toliara. Delayed and lengthy berthing procedures are challenges faced at the Ports of Toamasina and Toliara. Insecurity is an issue on a few roads in the Grand Sud, particularly the RN 13. Road conditions deteriorate rapidly during the rainy season (November–March). Internal transport costs are high throughout the country, particularly in the Grand Sud and remote areas of the Sud Est. Insufficient trucking capacity and in-transit commodity losses due to poorly adapted packing were cited as common challenges in the Grand Sud. Implementing partners in Madagascar have a network of quality central delivery point (CDP) storage warehouses. Storage losses caused by pests and heat are common; humidity is an issue in the Sud Est specifically.
- Financial service providers (FSPs) including commercial banks, microfinance institutions (MFI), and mobile money operators are present in the main towns of the AOI. Airtel money, Orange money, and Telma mVola are the main mobile carriers and money operators and have the greatest rural FSP presence, but often face connectivity and liquidity constraints in remote locations. The national post office (Paositra Malagasy) offers savings and money transfer services.
- Madagascar lacks a current central food security policy, and the most up to date National Action Plan for Food Security dates to 2005. Cognizant that rice has far-reaching consequences for food access, imported rice has been VAT-exempt since 2005. The Government of Madagascar (GoM) establishes price limits for imported rice in consultation with the private sector, but they are not frequently enforced beyond urban areas. Specific government ministries and bodies involved in the implementation of food assistance activities include: The National Office of Risk and Catastrophe Management for emergency programs; the Ministry of Population, Social Protection and Women Empowerment for cash transfer and social protection activities; and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries for agriculture-related programs. The Action Plan for Rural Development (PADR), the National Office of Nutrition (ONN), and the Development Intervention Fund (FID) are involved in development food assistance programs.
- The range of modality experiences in the AOI is wide, suggesting many opportunities and constraints for consideration in future program design (Table 1). Regardless of modality, there is a perceived need for implementing partners to: (1) better communicate and plan for distributions and food-for-work (FFW)/cash-for-work (CFW) or FFA/CFA projects; (2) consider the very wide range of related activities ongoing in the AOI, their program components/objectives, and transfer values (cash especially, but rations as well); (3) account for the size of the household, sharing practices (inter- and intrahousehold), and effort expended for CFA/FFA projects when setting ration sizes and transfer values; (4) consider the strong rice preference throughout the AOI; (5) take account of community solidarity practices, which can influence beneficiary targeting and distributions programs; and (6) recognize other facets of local customs and norms (such as the practice of women not coming forth at the start of a pregnancy, which can influence programs targeted at pregnant and lactating women and children; or the importance of local ceremonies that can interfere with planning and implementation of program distributions).