FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission to Madagascar, 23 October 2014 - Summary

FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission to Madagascar, 23 October 2014 - Summary
Oct 2014

An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM), with support from the Ministry of Agriculture (MinAgri), to identify and evaluate factors impacting on agricultural production in 2014, estimate national cereal production and assess the overall food security situation. The mission visited Madagascar from 18 June to 17 July 2014.

Highlights:

  • Rice production (Madagascar’s staple crop) in 2014 is estimated at about 4 million tonnes (in paddy terms), 10 percent higher than the sharply reduced 2013 harvest, but down 13 and 9 percent compared to 2012 and the previous five-year average, respectively. Maize and cassava production declined by 4 and 6 percent, respectively, compared to 2013.
  • Rainfall during the 2013/14 cropping season was generally well distributed in northern and some central regions, while uneven precipitation was observed in southern regions, limiting further production gains.
  • The first phase of the anti-locust campaign, implemented by FAO and the Government of Madagascar, treated an area of more than 1.2 million hectares, of which half was located in the more affected southern regions. Despite significant localized damage to maize and rice crops in the south and west, the campaign prevented the extension of the locust plague and limited larger crop losses.
  • Livestock conditions are generally favourable; however, cattle rustling is still prevalent, especially in the south, resulting in reduced livestock numbers. Fish stocks have decreased as a result of the large influx of new fisher folk, as well as the use of prohibited equipment and practices.
  • Prices of rice were lower in 2014 compared to the previous year, reflecting the improved supply situation; however, sharp price spikes for maize and cassava were observed in some southern parts of the country.
  • An import requirement of about 235 000 tonnes (milled equivalent) of rice is estimated in the 2014/15 marketing year (April/March), about 56 percent below last year but similar to the previous five-year average, all of which is anticipated to be imported commercially. An additional 60 000 tonnes of maize imports would also be required to satisfy domestic requirements.
  • Food security deteriorated in southern regions, notably Androy and Atsimo Andrefana, which were affected by reduced cereal outputs. However, improved conditions were recorded in northern and some central regions compared to 2013.
  • Over two-thirds of the surveyed households exhibited poor or limited consumption levels. Expenditure on food products is also high, with up to 75 percent of households’ budget allocated to food purchases, rendering them susceptible to high prices and market shocks.
  • Based on the survey results, rates of food insecurity indicate about 6 percent of rural households to be severely food insecure, 30 percent moderately food insecure and 50 percent to be at risk. Overall, the rate of food insecurity (moderate and severe) is estimated at about 36 percent.