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The lean season in Southern Madagascar will likely start early, in October

  • Key Message Update
  • Madagascar
  • September 2019
The lean season in Southern Madagascar will likely start early, in October

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Rain in the Southern Highlands is allowing farmers to prepare land and sow rain-fed crops like rice, maize and pulses. Rain in early September in the Extreme South, provided important water for new cassava plants. Most tubers have been harvested, but some are being kept underground to be consumed at the beginning of the lean season that is expected to begin earlier than usual in October rather than December.

    • Staple food prices have remained stable or have decreased in recent months, which has helped households maintain normal access to food. Most farmers, particularly in the South, are still eating from their own harvests. Increased market dependence is expected in the next month when stocks from own production will be depleted. Increased food prices, except for sweet potatoes, in vulnerable areas will decrease poor households’ ability to access food. Southern markets are currently well supplied with locally produced cassava and sweet potatoes. however, rice and maize are scarce and are imported from more northern districts like Betroka and Tsivory.

    • Livestock holdings have increased compared to last year due to a better availability of food for both people and livestock. As pastures are becoming progressively drier, cattle are now are eating more cactus leaves, sweet potato cuttings, and cassava leaves, than grass in some regions.

    • Wild foods such as tamarind and cactus are less available compared to previous years because most trees have been used for charcoal production and most leaves have been given to cattle. Livestock sales are still limited since households still have other income sources like selling poultry, fire wood sales, etc.

    • Most poor and very poor households in Mahafaly Plain: Cassava, Goats and Cattle (MG 23) and in Androy Semi-Arid Cassava, Maize and Livestock (MG 24) remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2). In southern Amboasary and Talagnaro it is likely that poor and very poor households will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) with the severe food gap induced by very below average production and the high food prices currently observed in those two districts. 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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