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Acute food insecurity forecast in areas facing multiple shocks

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Madagascar
  • September 2013
Acute food insecurity forecast in areas facing multiple shocks

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  • Key Messages
  • Forecast to December 2013
  • Key Messages
    • Though the 2013 locust outbreak was worse than usual, it is in areas that suffered additional , such as tropical cyclone Haruna or poorly distributed rainfall, that food security will decline to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) between October and December.

    • The September cassava harvest is ending throughout the island. It is estimated to be lower than normal due to poorly distributed rainfall in central and northern areas and to tropical cyclone Haruna in the south.




    National, particularly western, midwestern, west-central, southwestern, and southern areas.

    • Locusts are active in about two-thirds of the country.
    • Damage is localized; in the hardest-hit areas, it has caused production to drop 10 to 40 percent below average with reference to the main rice and maize harvest.
    • Maize and local rice prices will increase more quickly than usual from now until February/March.
    • The substitution effect will cause prices of substitutes (cassava, imported rice) to rise.

    Most of the south, especially the southern coast

    • The price of potable water is about twice as high as usual (800 MGA instead of 300-400 MGA/bucket).
    • Additional stress on food access until the rains come in mid- to late October.

    Forecast to December 2013

    Demonstrations and terrorist attacks (use of explosives at high-traffic locations) are increasing in Antananarivo, and pre-election campaigns in other cities are moving forward. Given the political and electoral context, the civil security situation is unstable. Elections are currently planned for October 25, with the second round on December 20.

    Multiple adverse events will decrease cereal production (rice, maize) locally by up to 40 percent. Merchants have significantly increased importation, but at this point it is not certain whether imports amounting to 10-15 percent of needs will be sufficient to fill the gap created by reduced production.

    Cassava is the main substitute for maize. The cassava harvest will be below average due to excess water from Haruna and irregular rainfall elsewhere in cassava-producing areas (west-central, midwestern, southwestern, and southern). This will also contribute to an increase in food prices, especially in the southwestern and southern parts of the country, which are the main consumers.

    Medium-term forecasts predict generally average rainfall for September through February (ECMWF, IRI).

    The most likely scenario suggests that locust-control measures (bush fires, chemical control) will be moderately effective. In this case, an above-average number of locusts will still hatch during the 2013/14 season, as a result of the extremely large scale of the infestation in early 2013.

    The October lean season is approaching for farming populations. Though there are signs of significant anomalies between the availability of cereals and tubers (cassava) and the price of staple foods, at this time there is not yet any indication of significantly negative coping strategies(IPC Phase 1, Minimal). As the October lean season approaches, a significant proportion of poor households in the areas most affected by the locusts and water shortages can be expected to begin giving food consumption priority over minimum livelihood protection needs (IPC Phase 2, Stressed). 

    Figures Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar for a Typical Year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 2


    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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