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Distribution of agricultural inputs relieves some access challenges at the outset of the 2022/23 season

  • Key Message Update
  • Madagascar
  • November 2022
Distribution of agricultural inputs relieves some access challenges at the outset of the 2022/23 season

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • In southern Madagascar, households continue to face significant limitations in accessing food as reserves from the main agricultural season have largely been exhausted, leaving them reliant on market purchase to meet their food needs amidst rising food prices. However, humanitarian food and cash assistance is expected to mitigate worse outcomes in areas where its distribution is the highest, resulting in Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) in the southwest and Stressed! (IPC Phase 2!) in both parts of the Grand South and the Grand Southeast. In areas of the Grand South and Grand Southeast where assistance is relatively lower, a combination of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are anticipated. Should assistance not be funded past January 2023, outcomes will likely deteriorate in multiple areas to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) with the peak of the lean season.

    • Households across the Grand South are continuing land preparation activities and beginning planting activities in accordance with this year’s average start to the rainfall season. As cash crop labor demand begins to reduce, those who were able to seasonally migrate for labor opportunities are beginning to return south to participate in the main agricultural season there. However, IOM reports fewer than normal movements to the Grand South given significantly above-average transportation costs and below-average expectations for the season for poorer households. Agricultural labor opportunities will increase with the season and are expected to be higher than last year but remain below average. Although middle and better-off households are expected to be able to plant near-average areas, they are still limited in their ability to hire laborers, and wage rates will be kept low by below-normal demand and above-normal supply.

    • The government and NGOs are currently in the process of delivering seeds, cuttings, and other agricultural inputs to targeted households across the country, particularly in the Grand South. Rice inputs have already been distributed, while inputs for maize, and beans began in mid-November and are expected to continue through January 2023. For poorer households, these input distributions are expected to be their only means of access as consecutive years of drought have severely reduced seed stocks and as significantly above-average prices have put most agricultural inputs out of their reach. For example, in October in Ampanihy, 1 cup of maize seed or 1 meter of seven to eight cuttings of cassava cuttings cost an average of 2500 MGA or approximately 1 kg of imported rice, well above average. Distributions in worst affected districts such as Amboasary, Ampanihy, Bekily, Betroka, Tsihombe, Ambovombe, and Betioky will improve access to inputs and increase the cropped area for poorer households but will likely be insufficient to increase cropped area and yields to average levels.

    • Headline inflation in Madagascar continued its upward trend to 10.4 percent in October 2022 from 9.7 percent in September 2022, representing the highest recorded inflation since January 2018. This has largely been driven by year-on-year increases in the index for food and non-alcoholic beverages at 11.7 percent and transportation at 19.8 percent. The price of 1 kg of local rice in October in the Androy region was higher than the national average, having increased by 7 percent month-on-month and 10 percent year-on-year. Similarly, the price of imported rice recorded 3.6 percent and 14 percent increases month-on-month and year-on-year in Ihosy, respectively and 8.2 percent and 31.6 percent month-and-month and year-on-year in Toliara, respectively.

    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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