FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission to Madagascar, 27 October 2015 - Summary

FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission to Madagascar, 27 October 2015 - Summary
Jan 2016

Highlights:

  • National rice production in 2015 is estimated at about 3.7 million tonnes (in paddy terms), representing a decline of 6 percent compared to the previous year. Estimates for maize and cassava outputs are approximately 330 000 tonnes and 2.7 million tonnes, respectively, down about 10 percent for both crops compared to the 2014 harvests.
  • The production declines mainly reflect the impact of two cyclones, which struck Madagascar in January and February 2015, causing significant damage to crops and irrigation infrastructure, and resulting in the silting of arable land.
  • In most regions, the cyclones were preceded and followed by rainfall deficits that negatively impacted on crop development and also resulted in limited cultivation of off-season crops.
  • The locust damage to crops and pastures in 2015 was negligible at the national level, with the outbreak largely contained as a result of the three-year programme in response to the locust plague; the third and final campaign of the programme must be fully completed to ensure a return to a locust recession situation in 2016.
  • The country’s cereal import requirement for the 2015/16 marketing year (April/March) is estimated at 551 000 tonnes, compared to 437 000 tonnes for 2014/15, including 331 000 tonnes of rice (in milled terms), 75 000 tonnes of maize and 145 000 tonnes of wheat.
  • The lean season in 2015/16 began earlier than normal, especially in the southern regions, where the production of staple crops, maize and cassava, decreased sharply by 60 to 80 percent.
  • Poor households, whose weak purchasing power has been exacerbated further by higher food prices, are employing multiple coping strategies, including reducing quantities of rice consumed, to mitigate the impact of tighter cereal supplies this year.
  • The Mission estimated the number of food insecure people in 2015 at nearly 1.9 million, of whom some 1.4 million were in a state of moderate food insecurity, while almost 450 000 were categorized as severely food insecure.
  • In the southern regions of Anosy and Androy, the rate of food insecurity was estimated at 90 and 76 percent of the households surveyed. Levels of related severe malnutrition were, 49 and 32 percent, respectively, in these regions, with an estimated 50 000 people requiring emergency assistance in terms of food security and nutrition, as well as livelihood support.