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Four million people food insecure in Madagascar

08/10/2013 - 

As many as 4 million people in rural areas of Madagascar are food insecure following this year's reduced harvest. Production of rice – the Indian Ocean island's staple – and maize has been badly hit by erratic weather and a locust invasion. A further 9.6 million people are at risk of food insecurity, say two United Nations agencies.

The extent of the island's food crisis is revealed in a report from the joint Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission conducted in June/July by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP). This blamed the poor agricultural season on a combination of factors: erratic weather conditions last year, cyclones early this year – causing flooding – followed by a period of poor rains.