Response to the locust plague in Madagascar: Programme for campaign No.2 (2014/15) - Updated version January 2015

Response to the locust plague in Madagascar: Programme for campaign No.2 (2014/15) - Updated version January 2015
Jan 2015

Madagascar is prone to natural disasters, including drought, floods, cyclones and locust crises. The current locust plague began in April 2012, following a two-year upsurge that was not addressed owing to insufficient means. Given the extent of the plague, as well Madagascar’s high rates of food insecurity and malnutrition, it was estimated that the food security of 13 million people (60 percent of the population) could be affected in the absence of large-scale locust control operations. To cope with this dire situation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Madagascar and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) developed a Three-year Programme (2013-2016) in response to the plague in December 2012.

Given the magnitude and geographical extent of the infested and contaminated areas, it was estimated that at least three successive locust control campaigns would be required to return to a locust recession situation:

  • Locust Campaign 1: fight against the plague, from September 2013 to August 2014;
  • Locust Campaign 2: measures to support the anticipated decline, from September 2014 to August 2015;
  • Locust Campaign 3: towards locust recession and capacity building of the National Anti-Locust Centre, from September 2015 to June 2016.

The objective of the Programme is to contribute to safeguarding food security for the most vulnerable rural populations in Madagascar. Its five components are:

  1. Capacity for monitoring and analysis of the locust situation strengthened;
  2. Locust control capacity strengthened;
  3. Human health preserved and environment protected;
  4. Implementation and coordination of the Programme;
  5. Assessment of the effectiveness of the locust campaigns and the impact of the locust crisis on crops and pastures.

In December 2012, the budget of the Three-year Programme was estimated at USD 41.5 million. This estimated budget was to be revised on an annual basis to reflect the evolution of the locust situation, the needs of each locust control campaign and the actual cost of the various items. Adjusted for the first time at the beginning of the Programme, in September 2013, the budget of the Three-year Programme was increased to USD 42.9 million in June 2014. In December 2014, the total budget of the Three-year Programme was updated to USD 39.39 million, taking into account the actual cost of the first campaign (2013/14), of USD 20,21 million, and the estimated cost of the second one (2014/15), of USD 15.28 million.

The first locust campaign has been fully funded and successfully implemented. With more than 30 million hectares surveyed and locust populations controlled on over 1.2 million hectares without any incident affecting human health or the environment and larger damage to crops prevented, mainly in the major rice baskets, the specific objective of the campaign, aimed at halting the dynamics of the locust plague while protecting crops and pastures, has been achieved.

It is essential that all funds required for the second campaign and, beyond that, for the entire Programme are available in order to return to a locust recession situation in 2016, or all efforts made so far will be in vain. It is also crucial that all funds required are available on time for the implementation of the locust campaigns. If the second and third locust campaigns could not be entirely and timely carried out, the return to a recession situation in 2016 could not be guaranteed; a situation of chronic locust upsurge could prevail (as it happened from 2010 to 2012), worsening sooner or later into a new plague.

This document is perfectly in line with the strategy defined in the Three-year Programme, follows it closely and is a direct result of it. Moreover, it duly includes all necessary technical adjustments made during the course of the first anti-locust Campaign in order to take into account the results and achieved progresses as well as the recommendations made and the lessons learnt.

It describes the second locust control campaign, which will be conducted in 2014/15, and its objective of supporting the anticipated decline of the plague through largescale aerial control operations in the infested areas. The expected results, indicators and activities are described by Programme component. Also presented below are the management modalities carried out by FAO in close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; the technical and operational support provided for Programme implementation; project inputs; the monitoring and evaluation system as well as the periodicity of the reports.