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Madagascar’s 2017 staple food production is expected to remain below average levels. The ongoing main rice harvest will be less than 90 percent of 2016 levels as unexpected early season dryness resulted in a late start to the planting season. Maize and cassava production will see a modest recovery but similarly remain below average. Rice imports will continue to play an important role in staple food supply over the coming months.
In March, Cyclone EWANO hit northeastern Madagascar and traveled almost the entire length of the Island, flooding agricultural fields, damaging household food stocks, and disrupting trade corridors. Households in the most severely affected areas of Antalaha, Maroantsetra, and Brickaville are increasingly dependent on markets, as supply of key staples remain limited.
In southern Madagascar, staple food prices remain atypically high following three consecutive years of drought, and are expected to maintain above average levels in the near term. In Antananarivo, local and imported rice prices have been particularly high in recent months with local rice prices peaking at close to 2,000 Ariary per kilogram in March 2017.