Food Security Outlook Update

An early lean season in October expected for Southern Madagascar

August 2017

August - September 2017

Madagascar August 2017 Food Security Projections for August to September

October 2017 - January 2018

Madagascar August 2017 Food Security Projections for October to January

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • Cassava and sweet potato harvests in Southern Madagascar are underway with near normal production. Poor household stocks will likely last until October 2017. Farmers in Boeny are harvesting their third season of rice, the Jeby rice, and production is expected to be better than the main season.

  • Rice imports tripled in the first semester of 2017 compared to last year in the same period, increasing from 86,000 MT in 2016 to more than 247,000 MT in 2017, which is 54 percent higher than the 5-year average, and just below the highest level in 2014, over the past ten years. Imported rice has filled the gap left by local rice in deficit areas, particularly in the South and the Southeast, and stabilized prices. 

  • In August 2017, the Extreme South (MG 24) and Southwest Madagascar (MG 23) remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2), with some pockets of Crisis (Phase 3) in the commune of Beheloka, despite the ongoing good harvest of cassava and sweet potatoes which provided food and income to farmers. In the Southeast (MG 19), July harvests slightly improved the situation and the area will be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through September.

  • Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected in most parts of the Extreme South (MG 24), Southwest (MG 23) and Southeast (MG 19), except in Manakara and Vangaindrano, by the start of the lean season. Across Madagascar approximately half a million people will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in the last 3 months of 2017, with the vast majority in Southern Madagascar. At the peak of the lean season in early 2018, this number will grow above half a million people. 

CURRENT SITUATION

  • Export cash crops: The vanilla harvest is complete, as beans were collected earlier than usual for fear of theft.  Production is estimated to be lower than last year after Cyclone Enawo and the quality is reduced due to early harvesting. Despite this, due to low supply on the international market, prices are high: A kilo of green vanilla beans was worth 500 USD in June 2017, even before being fermented and dried, nearly five times more than in 2015.  The domestic price of coffee remains very high and higher than the international price. Producer prices have doubled compared to last year due to reduced production following various hazards in southeastern Madagascar where coffee is mainly produced.
  • Crop production: National rice production estimates remain around 3.2 million MT, which is 20 percent lower than the 5-year average (4 million MT) and 15 percent lower than last year. Rice production was reduced in the west, middle-west, north-central and eastern parts of Madagascar due to drought conditions and Cyclone Enawo, but remained relatively stable in south-central and southwestern parts. Maize production nationally is estimated at around 350,000 MT, which is 6 percent below the 5-year average and 10 percent higher than last year. In the South, maize production increased compared to last year but remained below normal. National cassava production will likely be around 3 million MT, which is near the 5-year average and 15 percent higher than last year.
  • Rice imports: Rice imports dramatically increased due to the stability of the Ariary/US Dollar exchange rate and the low domestic rice production. In July 2017, the average price of imported rice slightly increased to MGA 1,532 per kg, about 3 percent higher than in early June 2017. Imported rice is not present in surplus areas such as Ihosy, Fianarantsoa and Morondava where local production is still sufficient.
  • Prices for locally grown food products: The increase in imported rice helped the prices of local rice to stabilize at MGA 1,707 per kg despite the post-harvest period and the lower than normal production this year. Maize prices increased by 8 percent from June to July 2017 despite the recent harvest, since although production was greater than last year it was still insufficient to meet demand. Cassava prices in Antananarivo and in the South remained stable or decreased even though the harvest started earlier than usual, as farmers needed cash after many consecutive years of drought. However, in the southeast, cassava price dramatically increased, particularly in Mananjary, due to insufficient supply on the markets.
  • Humanitarian assistance: From April to June 2017, the Food Security and Livelihoods cluster has been able to provide food assistance of 7,438 tons of food and $2.8 million in cash to 770,729 people, about 43 percent of population in the Southern Madagascar. CARE distributed 42MT of food through General Food Distribution & Food For Work activities in 4 communes of Amboasary from April to June. Additionally, 1,012 households (5,060 people) benefited from the food for work projects. 

UPDATED ASSUMPTIONS

The current situation has not affected most of the assumptions used to develop FEWS NET’s most likely scenario for the period of July 2017 to January 2018. However, the following assumptions have been updated:

  • Humanitarian Assistance: Joint programming between FAO and WFP has been undertaken to support the needs of vulnerable households, by providing food aid to households who will receive seeds for the upcoming cropping season, so that households will not resort to eating seeds that should instead be planted, thus ensuring the improvement of households’ livelihood status after the planting season. More than 90 percent of WFP's targeted communes are expected to be assisted by FAO as part of this program. FAO plans to provide agricultural support for an additional 20,000 households.

Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

Households throughout Madagascar, despite the below average national rice production, households will continue to have relatively normal access to food due to normal income levels, crops from own production and regular market supplies from 2017 harvests and rice imports. As a result, the majority of the country will continue to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity between August 2017 and January 2018.

In the Extreme south: cassava, maize, and livestock rearing livelihood zone (MG 24), food insecurity is expected to rise with the post-harvest period, and households will be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) with some pockets of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in some communes of Beloha and Tsihombe. Food security outcomes in September will remain the same as in August with the continuing cassava and off-season sweet potato harvest and greater labor opportunities. Improvement will be slowed by below-normal staple food production, and still below normal agricultural incomes and assets (ex. livestock) that were depleted during the previous years. Most households will experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between October 2017 and January 2018.

In the Southeast: coffee, litchis, cassava (MG 19), rainfall deficits delayed rice planting and decreased cash crop production. This, in addition to the high food prices in markets earlier this year, will make this area experience worse outcomes this year than usual: Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity from August to September and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) between October 2017 and January 2018 except in Manakara and Vangaindrano.

In the Southwest: cassava and small ruminants (MG 23), the cassava harvest was good but household expect their stocks to run out of in October. Therefore, most households in that zone will be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity in August and September 2017, with some pockets of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in some communes such as Beheloka, and in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) from October 2017 to January 2018.

Approximately half a million people are expected to be in  Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in Madagascar in the last three months of 2017, mostly composed of populations in the Extreme South (MG 24), Southwest (MG 23), and the Southeast (MG 19). The number of food insecure people will increase above half a million people in the first three months of 2018 as the lean season peaks.

About this Update

This monthly report covers current conditions as well as changes to the projected outlook for food insecurity in this country. It updates FEWS NET’s quarterly Food Security Outlook. Learn more about our work here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
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