FAO situation update No.1 -- Food security in Madagascar is under imminent and severe threat from increasing number of swarms of migratory locust. These insects can ruin harvests and destroy livelihoods by devastating crops. Controlling an upsurge already underway can require years and hundreds of millions of US dollars.
Locusts are threatening the livelihoods of nearly half a million Malagasy households reliant on subsistence farming. Millions more people stand to be affected, since agriculture accounts for one-third of the economy and employs 80 percent of the population. Moreover, 50 percent of people live below the poverty line, and 50 percent of children under five are undernourished. The impending locust plague would further cripple the country as it struggles with malnutrition, cyclones, political instability and reduced humanitarian funding.