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Southwestern Madagascar continues to feel effects of dryness

  • Key Message Update
  • Madagascar
  • March 2018
Southwestern Madagascar continues to feel effects of dryness

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Cyclone Eliakim passed along the eastern coast of Madagascar in mid-March, damaging clove crops in Analanjirofo region during their flowering stage. Vanilla was less affected.  Some severe flooding was reported by OCHA in ricefields in Maroantsetra, and less severe flooding in Mandritsara and Ambilobe.

    • Fall armyworm is present throughout Madagascar. It is estimated to be responsible for an 80 to 90 percent loss of crops in infested fields that have not received treatment, such as many areas of the southwest, where fields are often left untreated because farmers cannot afford treatment options. This has exacerbated the poor crop production in the southwest that also received poor and erratic rainfall that decreased famers’ ability to plant. In the highlands of Madagascar, where treatments have been used, crop loss is estimated at 20 to 25 percent. Overall this will contribute to below-average national maize production.

    • Despite flooding caused by Cyclone Ava in January, rice fields in Vakinakratra region have not been significantly damaged and are expected to have near average production this year. This region is the third largest rice producing region, and normally provides 18 percent of national rice production. Nationally, rice production in all regions is expected to be better than last year except for the southwest that suffered from dryness, and areas near Antananarivo that suffered flooding.

    • Staple prices are starting to decrease with the early harvest of rice and the beginning of maize harvests, but prices remain above average due to below average production. In mid-February 2018, OdR data showed that the average price of imported rice in 18 markets was at MGA 1,833, a decrease of 5 percent compared to January 2018, but 4 percent higher than last year at the same time, and 37 percent above the 5-year average. High prices for both imported and local rice persist although markets are well supplied.

    • Many parts of Madagascar are still in the lean season in March. The Southeast (MG19) is currently experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to the depletion of household staple stocks, the intensification of consumption of wild foods and high market prices. The Mahafaly Plain (MG 23) is experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to the poor availability of maize and pulses, the increased consumption of wild foods, and reduced cash income due to poor harvests. In the Androy Semi-Arid zone (MG 24), the situation has improved with the arrival of sweet potato and maize harvests. This area, and the Southwest (MG 20), are in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity due to below average production and few available sources of income.

    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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