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Parts of southern Madagascar to remain in Phase 3 (Crisis) until end of lean season

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Madagascar
  • February 2014
Parts of southern Madagascar to remain in Phase 3 (Crisis) until end of lean season

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected outlook through June 2014
  • Key Messages
    • In southwestern areas of Madagascar that faced multiple shocks during the 2012/13 season, food insecurity remains at Phase 3 (Crisis) for February through March, due to multiple shocks during the 2012/2013 season.
    • Locust outbreaks, though above average, are less severe than anticipated due to ongoing control efforts. Impact on production is expected to be less severe than last year.
    • Food security will improve to Phase 1 (None or Minimal) for April-June 2014 with the harvests of rice, maize, and pulses.

    Zone

    Current anomalies

    Projected anomalies

    West and southwest (Ambovombe, Morondava, and Mahajanga)

    • Prices for dried cassava are 60 to 167 percent higher than at the same time last year.
    • Prices for dried cassava will continue to rise in line with seasonal trends, peaking in June-July.

    Parts of Melaky, Menabe, and Amoron’I Mania

    • Above-average attacks by larval stage locusts continue in spite of the intensive treatment program by the FAO.
    • The treatment program will reduce the locust threat in the two-thirds of the country infested by locusts in 2014 and there will be less damage than projected in October 2013.  

     


    Projected outlook through June 2014

    In January, much higher than average rainfall in the south and center of Madagascar, along with tropical cyclones passing by the western coast, have led to cases of flooding in various parts of the country, but are not major risk factors for food security (i.e. multiple cyclone strikes in a single season, a cyclone strike at a critical juncture in the season, an unusually strong cyclone, a cyclone strike in an unusual area). FEWS NET will continue to monitor the situation for any changes.

    Meetings with Météo Madagascar officials have indicated that rainfall in the highly productive areas near Lac Alaotra has only been slightly below normal (20-30mm, rather than the normal 40-60 mm), and should not significantly affect growing conditions there. As described in the January 2014 Madagascar Remote Monitoring Report, the meteorological evidence available from SADC and Météo Madagascar has provided weak, mixed evidence unable to support a strong assumption about a scenario other than near-average rainfall. As a result, FEWS NET continues to believe that rainfall will be sufficient to meet crop needs, translating into a near average level of production.

    The ongoing locust control program mounted in October 2013 has treated over 79,584 hectares with conventional pesticides. This first campaign will extend through August of this year in all 17 infested areas, and it will reduce the likelihood of large-scale losses of crops for the main 2013/2014 growing season. In general, the FAO/Ministry of Agriculture team has the situation under control, though infestations in areas between Tsiroanomandidy and Ihosy are expected to occur throughout the rainy season (January through April).

    The rice harvest for the early growing season got underway in December and finished at the end of January. Rice prices in most markets are near or slightly above January 2013 prices. January prices for cassava, which is an important staple food between now and the rice harvest in April, were reportedly up anywhere from 60 to 167 percent from the previous year in certain parts of the south and west. This was, more than likely, due to the flood damage to cassava crops in these areas in early 2013, along with the affects of two cyclones that passed the western coast of Madagascar in early 2014. Dried cassava prices are 167 percent above January 2013 prices in Ambovombe (1,000 Ar/kg, compared to 375 Ar/kg) and 86 percent above January 2013 prices in Mahajanga (1,400 Ar/kg compared to 750 Ar/kg). Interviews with traders in southwestern parts of Madagascar have indicated that prices for small ruminants (goats) have dropped approximately 25 percent from the typical 20,000 Ar/head to 15,000 Ar/head, as households are selling more goats in order to purchase cassava. Prices for cactus fruit, a wild food typically consumed between now and April, are also up 150 percent, from 10 Ar/fruit in a typical year to 25 Ar/fruit this year.

    Certain parts of the southwest hit by multiple shocks (locally poor rainfall, locusts, the impact of Tropical Cyclone Haruna on the availability of cassava) in 2013, described in greater detail in FEWS NET’s Special October 2013 Report on Madagascar, will continue to experience Crisis (Phase 3, IPC 2.0) levels of food insecurity for the remainder of the lean season, which typically ends by the beginning of March. The forecast for adequate rainfall and the ongoing locust control program support the prospect of a closer-to-average harvest for the main growing season. Significant improvements in food security are expected with the harvests, reducing food insecurity to Minimal levels (Phase 1, IPC 2.0) during the main harvesting period between April and June.
     

    Figures

    Figure 1

    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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