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Above-average food prices and debt levels to lead to Stressed food insecurity by October

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Madagascar
  • August 2014
Above-average food prices and debt levels to lead to Stressed food insecurity by October

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through December 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Good national rice production is expected this season along with an average March/April 2014 maize/legume harvest in the south. As a result, acute food insecurity is expected to remain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) through at least September.

    • In areas of the south and southwest that faced multiple shocks in 2013, high prices and above-average debt levels are likely to lead to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity among poor households starting in October. 

    • A normal start to main season cropping activities and average 2014/2015 rainfall is currently expected in October/November.

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    Southern Madagascar (Amboasary, Toliara)

    Dried cassava prices are to 47 percent higher than the previous year.

    Dried cassava prices to remain significantly above the two-year average, limiting household access to the preferred staple.


    Projected Outlook through December 2014

    The key areas of concern in Madagascar remain select districts in Atsimo, Andrefana, and Androy Regions of the south and southwest, including Ampanihy, Betiocky, Tsihombe, Beloha, and Bekily, due to the longer-term effects of negative strategies, such as higher-than-usual borrowing, employed to cope with the multiple shocks that occurred over the course of 2013.

    Treatment efforts for the first year of FAO/Ministry of Agriculture’s anti-locust campaign have largely ended, as no locusts breeding will occur during the dry July-September winter period. Monitoring and possible spot treatments may be carried out from one aerial base that will remain open. The three-year campaign is currently two-thirds funded, and the second year of treatment is expected to begin in October 2014.

    Forecasts suggest a 56 percent likelihood for an El Niño to develop by September and last through at least December. Historical rainfall information provides no clear indication of the impact of El Niño events in Madagascar. Based on IRI forecasts, FEWS NET assumes rainfall will be near average island-wide.

    Districts of concern in Atsimo Andrefana and Androy Regions

    Prices for dry cassava, a key staple in these areas, have continued to fall from their May peak to near their prior-year levels, but remain above their two-year averages by as much as 47 percent in key southern markets. With increased food availability from recent cassava harvests, as well as the March-May maize/legume harvest that normally marks the end of the lean season in the South, most households in the southern areas of concern are able to satisfy their basic food and non-food needs, and are currently facing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity, which will be maintained through September.

    However, as many poor households borrowed more than usual during the lean season, these households will be required to pay back loans with the beginning of the cassava harvest in August, this year shortly before other expenses such as school fees must also be paid. Moreover, it is likely that households will face seasonal price increases for maize and prices for dried cassava remain above the two-year average. Together, these factors could contribute to a start to the lean season two months earlier than usual, and poor households may face livelihood protection deficits and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity from October to December 2014.

    Figures Calendrier saisonnier pour une année typique

    Figure 1

    Calendrier saisonnier pour une année typique

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2

    Source:

    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

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