FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission to Madagascar, 9 October 2013

FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission to Madagascar, 9 October 2013
Oct 2013

An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM), including both financial and technical support from IFAD and the Ministry of Agriculture (MinAgri), visited Madagascar from 19 June to 13 July 2013.

Highlights:

  • Madagascar’s 2013 rice output is estimated at 3.6 million tonnes (paddy), about 21 percent below the above-average level of 2012. Maize and cassava production are also estimated to have declined compared to the previous season, by 15 and 14 percent respectively. 
  • The country is estimated to have a rice deficit of about 240 000 tonnes (milled equivalent) for the 2013/14 marketing year (April/March), while approximately 48 000 tonnes of imported maize would be required to satisfy the national deficit. 
  • Uneven rainfall distribution (both temporally and spatially), and a delayed start of the 2012/13 rainy season by one to two months, were observed in the intensive rice producing regions in the north and center of the country. As a result significant reductions in the rice output were estimated in north-eastern regions, of up to 60 percent, relative to 2012’s harvest. 
  • Increased production in some large producing central regions, including Vakinankaratra, helped to limit a larger decline in the national rice output. 
  • Damage caused by cyclone Haruna in February 2013, caused widespread crop losses in south-western parts, due to flooding and siltation, resulting in rice crop losses of up to 70 percent in Atsimo Andrefana, relative to the short-term average. 
  • The impact of the locust plague has been most severe in the southwest, which contributes on average about 7 percent to the national rice output. However, although the impact of the locust plague has been comparatively limited on the national rice production, it had a significant impact on the livelihoods of the households in affected area. In addition, the locust plague, which has already reached some of the main rice producing regions in the north, is expected to have a serious impact on next season’s crop, if not controlled. 
  • High costs and low purchasing-power have restricted access to agricultural inputs, including seeds and fertilizers, for the 2012/13 agricultural season, further contributing to the reduced cereal production. 
  • In regard to the fisheries sector, low water levels in lakes, following insufficient rains in 2012/13 and the use of non-regulatory nets were the main factors responsible for the decline in fish production. 
  • Production expectations for the second season crops (harvest commenced in September) are unfavorable due to insufficient rainfall in 2013 and impact of the locust plague. 
  • The low agricultural production is expected to result in a longer, as well as earlier start to the lean season. The significant increase in price of rice and cassava has further compounded the situation, negatively impacting on households’ purchasing power and consequently food access. Food consumption is limited in many parts of the country, with a higher prevalence in the south, southwest and eastern regions, as well as in some of the productive agricultural zones, including the central plateau and some northern regions. About 47 percent of households in Vatovavy Fitovinany region (eastern coast), and between 40 and 45 percent of households in the regions of Androy, Anosy and Atsimo Atsinanana (located in the south) have poor food consumption. Androy has the highest prevalence of households with poor food consumption levels, estimated at 25 percent. 
  • Households’ diets with poor and limited food consumption are primarily based on cereals, with a severe lack of vegetable and animal protein intake. The sources of food are limited, and most households meet their consumption requirements through food purchases and, to a lesser extent, with supplies from their own production.