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Improved 2013/2014 rice production expected to support Minimal acute food insecurity through September

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Madagascar
  • June 2014
Improved 2013/2014 rice production expected to support Minimal acute food insecurity through September

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through September 2014
  • Key Messages
    • National rice production in Madagascar for the 2013/2014 season is expected to be approximately 4.3 million metric tons, which is near the five-year average and a 19 percent improvement from 2013. Local and imported rice prices were at or slightly below their prior-year levels in May, maintaining stable access for poor households to the preferred staple food.
    • Dried cassava prices remain 60-80 percent higher than last year’s prices, limiting poor household access to the preferred staple in key areas of concern in the south.
    • With good national rice estimates and the recent maize/legume harvest in the south, acute food insecurity in Madagascar will remain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) through at least September 2014.

    Zone

    Current anomalies

    Projected anomalies

    Southern Madagascar (Amboasary, Toliara)

    Dried cassava prices 60-80 percent higher than the previous year is limiting household access to this preferred staple.

    Dried cassava prices to remain significantly above the previous year and two-year averages, limiting household access to this preferred staple.


    Projected Outlook through September 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 multiple shocks over the course of 2013. As in a typical year, June was a post-harvest month in which there is improved staple food availability compared to the lean season, which ends in March/April.

    FEWS NET analysis continues to be based on the assumption that improved overall rainfall this season and the strong locust-control efforts this year will result in better national crop production than in 2013. At the national level, FAO is estimating total rice production will be 4.3 million metric tons, which is near the five-year average and a 19 percent improvement from 2013. Local and imported rice prices were at or slightly below their prior-year levels in May, maintaining stable access for poor households to the preferred staple food.

    Locust treatment efforts continued in June, with total area treatment reaching 1.2 million hectares of land since the beginning of treatment in November 2013, part of which has been directed at areas of the southwest from a base in Toliara. According to FAO, a four-week mission to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the locust campaign is underway as of mid-June.

     

    Districts of concern in Atsimo Andrefana and Androy Regions

    Cassava consumption, usually the primary staple in the South, remains low in areas of concern in June due to very high prices (as much as 60-80 percent above last year) as a result of both dryness and Cyclone Haruna-related losses in 2013. Field reports indicate that recent price decreases in some southern/southwestern markets, such as Amboasary and Toliara, are possibly due to harvests of early-planted cassava and reduced demand for cassava as households substitute for cheaper foods. However, dried cassava prices are expected to remain significantly above last year’s prices through August.

    Localized poor rainfall distribution in 2014 and concerns about locally poor locust control operations may result in pockets of below-average maize production within some areas of concern in the South. Poor households in these areas may return to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity briefly between the exhaustion of maize stocks and the start of the cassava harvest in September. However, the availability of rice and other crops, along with imminent cassava harvests, should limit in severity and duration the extent of this food insecurity.

    Taking into account the March-May maize/legume harvest that normally marks the end of the lean season in the South, and lower prices of these substitutes compared to cassava, 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 onset of the new cassava harvest in September, at a time when other expenses such as school fees must also be paid. Moreover, it is likely that households will face seasonal price increases for maize and a continuation of very high prices for cassava through August. Together, these factors could contribute to an early start to the lean season, and poor households may face livelihood protection deficits and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity towards the end of 2014.

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    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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