Response to the locust plague in Madagascar: Interim report for campaign No.2 (September 2014 - February 2015)

Response to the locust plague in Madagascar: Interim report for campaign No.2 (September 2014 - February 2015)
Sep 2015

The current Malagasy Migratory Locust plague began in April 2012. Rice, other crops and pasture resources for livestock were at risk of considerable damage by the locust plague, which could have had a significant negative impact on domestic supply and grain prices. In view of the scale of the plague, it was estimated that the food security of 13 million people (60 percent of the population) could be affected without large-scale locust control operations. 

To tackle this catastrophic situation, the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) of Madagascar declared a national state of emergency on 27 November 2012. The following month, it requested technical and financial assistance from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to address the locust plague, ensure the mobilization of resources and coordinate and implement an emergency response.

A Three-year emergency Programme in response to the locust plague was jointly prepared by FAO and the MoA in December 2012. The budget for this Programme (2013–2016) was planned to be revised each year to reflect the development of the locust situation, the requirements of each locust control campaign and the market prices of inputs and services. It was thus revised in December 2014 to take into account the actual cost of the first campaign and the anticipated cost of the second campaign, and amounted to USD 39.4 million on 28 February 2015.

The first locust campaign of the Three-year Programme was a success: more than 30 million ha were surveyed, allowing the control of locust populations over more than 1.2 million ha while respecting human health and the environment. The specific objective of this campaign, which aimed to stem the dynamics of the plague whilst protecting crops and pastures, was thus achieved.

For the second locust campaign, which began in September 2014 and will end in August 2015, it was planned to treat locust infestations over an area of 500 000 to 800 000 ha to support the decline of the plague and protect crops and pastures. This would contribute to reducing the threat to the livelihoods of rural populations already affected by the plague and other factors such as cyclones, drought, political instability, etc.

Donor response to resource mobilization efforts made by FAO for the Three-year Programme has been positive. As of 28 February 2015, USD 29.4 million had been provided by the Central Emergency Response Fund of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the European Union, and the Governments of AustriaBelgium, France, Italy, Japan, Madagascar (through a World Bank and International Fund for Agricultural Development loan), Norway and the United States of America.