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Main season rice was damaged by Cyclone AVA in the Southern Highlands and Southeastern Madagascar

  • Key Message Update
  • Madagascar
  • January 2018
Main season rice was damaged by Cyclone AVA in the Southern Highlands and Southeastern Madagascar

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Cyclone Ava made landfall in Madagascar on January 5th. Flooding caused major damage to crops and agricultural infrastructure, and caused the Soavina dam to break, which flooded around 30 percent of the rice fields in Haute Matsiatra and Vakinakaratra Regions. Because these crops were young the chance of their recovery is small, but some more mature crops were also lost. In the Southeast, farmers are delaying the transplanting of the main season rice (Vatomandry rice) until the end of the cyclonic season, with seeds mainly sown in upland areas. In the South, rain from the cyclone was favorable to maize and sweet potato crops, which are expected to be harvested beginning in February.

    • Agricultural labor opportunities have intensified in the central highlands to salvage non-damaged crops in affected fields. Labor mainly consists of desilting, opening drainage channels to bring out the water and replanting young rice plants. Some up-lands in Vakinakaratra and Vatovavy Fitovinany are also currently labored to expand rice fields to escape from eventual future floods. Wages remain stable between 2,500 Ariary and 4,000 Ariary per day depending on the field size.

    • Following the passing of the cyclone, market supplies from Antananarivo were interrupted by road washouts for about one week in the Southern Highlands and Southeastern regions of Madagascar, which led to rice prices increasing by up to 17 percent compared to before the cyclone. All markets are now functioning well. Tuber supplies have slightly reduced with the exhausting stock of sweet potatoes and the slowing of dried cassava sales, while cereal supplies have increased following the harvest of first season rice and green maize. Rice prices are 20 percent higher than last year and is 35 percent above the 5-year average. Maize prices have increased despite the new harvest, while prices of tubers remain stable. 

    • Despite recent rains favorable to maize and sweet potato crops, and the relative stability of prices, the situation in the Extreme South (MG 24) and the Southwest Madagascar (MG 23) remains in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) in January. Household income remains low due to below normal production but no major animal sales nor other emergency coping strategies were reported. 

    • The situation in Southeast Madagascar has deteriorated despite the recovery from last year’s rainfall deficit and the improved first harvest of rice. The current lean season began earlier with insufficient stocks from first production, low income from cash crop production, and loss of substitute foods. Three districts (Nosy Varika, Mananjary, and Vohipeno) out of 6 in MG19 will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) level of acute food insecurity this month and the remaining three (Farafangana, Manakara and Vangaindrano) will remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2).

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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