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Household food access improves as food prices decrease following harvests

  • Key Message Update
  • Madagascar
  • May 2019
Household food access improves as food prices decrease following harvests

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Imported rice prices in April stabilized or decreased compared to March throughout Madagascar. Particularly in the South: Ampanihy, Betioky and Tulear II, local authorities have sold subsidized imported rice at 300 Ariary per cup since early May. This is 40 percent below the market price, which is 500 Ariary. Each household is able to purchase up to 10 cups (approximately 3kg), but unfortunately this only contributes to 2 percent of the average monthly food needs of a very poor or poor household.

    • The main rice harvest in underway and production is expected to be better than last year particularly in the Southwest and Southern Highlands of Madagascar due to favorable rainfall. Rice production in western Madagascar is expected to be similar to last year, despite local rainfall deficits, because rice fields benefitted from water from dams in northern regions where rainfall was near normal. Maize and pulse harvests are completed, and production is better than last year and near normal in the Southwest because of near normal rainfall. The wetness of the season also reduced the impacts of fall armyworm. Cassava and sweet potatoes are still growing, and production is expected to be near normal.

    • Cattle body conditions are good, and farmers are restoring their herds. Few livestock sales are reported due to the improvement of food availability – as a result, livestock prices are increasing. On average in April/May, a cow cost 750,000 MGA, a goat 100,000 MGA and a sheep 120,000 MGA. Those prices are around 50 percent higher than in early 2019 and 20 percent higher than in last quarter of 2018. Cattle are mainly eating sweet potato leaves and dried maize leaves as pasture starts to be dry.

    • Overall, poor and very poor households in Mahafaly Plain: Cassava, Goats and Cattle (MG 23) are experiencing  Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) acute food insecurity due to the harvests and the effects of humanitarian assistance from WFP and ASOTRY programming that covers more than 80 percent of households in their areas of intervention. Nevertheless, a minority is still adopting more drastic coping strategies such as migrating. Around 20 displaced households who left their villages during the 2018 drought period remain in the Chef-lieu of Ampanihy, though ground partners report that their numbers have decreased since January/February 2019. The men mainly worked as agricultural laborers while their women mainly sell cactus at 50 Ariary the pile of 5 pieces.

    • Households in Androy Semi-Arid Cassava, Maize and Livestock (MG 24) are in Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) in May 2019, expect Beloha where the situation is worse following failed maize harvests due to FAW infestation. In the Southeast: coffee, litchis, cassava (MG 19), and in Rice and lima bean - Tulear II (MG20), the situation remains in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity. Other households throughout Madagascar are experiencing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity.

    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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