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Food insecurity to persist until main season harvests in April

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Madagascar
  • January 2014
Food insecurity to persist until main season harvests in April

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected outlook through June 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Food insecurity remains at Phase 3 (Crisis) for January through March, due to multiple shocks during the 2012/2013 season.
    • Food security will improve to Phase 1 (None or Minimal) for April-June 2014 with the harvests of rice, maize, and pulses.
    • Locust treatment continues in the 17 infested regions, with FAO/Ministry of Agriculture treatment teams based in Ihosy and Tsironomandidy since October 2013. This report is being translated to English.




    West and southwest (Ambovombe, Morondava, and Mahajanga)

    • Prices for dried cassava are 80 to 300 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

    • 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

    The rice harvest for the early growing season got underway in December and will be completed by the end of January. Though the output from this secondary season will not last producers very long, it will stabilize January prices for staple foodstuffs. Thus far, there have been cases of flooding from tropical cyclones passing close to the island in various parts of the country, but still no 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.

    The ongoing locust control program mounted in October of last year has treated over 62,500 hectares with conventional pesticides. This first campaign will extend through August of this year in all 17 infested areas, and it reduces 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, despite expected infestations in transitional areas between Tsiroanomandidy and Ihosy during the rainy season (January through April).

    There are differences in the forecasts relating to the rainfall outlook for Madagascar. SADC is predicting normal to above-normal levels of rainfall for the period from January through March in all parts of the island, while Météo Madagascar (the National Weather Service) is predicting normal to above-normal rainfall in the south and adequate to below-normal levels of rainfall in the north for the same period from January through March. With these weak mixed signals, the evidence serving as basis for making a solid assumption that there will be anything other than average rainfall during this period is weak at best. Even in the case of below-normal levels of rainfall, FEWS NET believes that it will still suffice to meet crop needs, translating into a near-average level of production.

    Southern Madagascar, particularly the southwest
    December prices for cassava in certain parts of the south and west were reportedly up by anywhere from 80 to 300 percent from the previous year. This was, more than likely, due to the flood damage to cassava crops in these areas in early 2013. Cassava is an important staple food between now and the rice harvest in April.

    Certain parts of the southwest hit by multiple simultaneous 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 and an improvement in food security conditions, reducing food insecurity to Minimal levels (Phase 1, IPC 2.0) during the main harvesting period between April and June.

    Figures Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar in a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1


    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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