GIEWS > Data & Tools > Earth Observation
GIEWS - Global Information and Early Warning System

Country Briefs


Reference Date: 12-July-2016


  1. Rice production in 2016 is provisionally forecast to be at near-average level, but sharp production shortfalls anticipated in the south due to severe El Niño-induced dryness

  2. Food security conditions remain critical in southern regions on account of successive years of reduced crop production and higher prices

Rice production in 2016 forecast to be close to average levels

Harvesting of the 2016 rice crop is nearing completion. Rainfall during the 2015/16 cropping season (November/July) was mixed across the country and as a result year-on-year regional outputs are expected to vary significantly. Generally satisfactory seasonal rains were received across northern parts and most central regions, while in the south persistent and severe dryness, influenced by the 2015/16 El Niño episode, caused crop failures and is expected to result in well below‑average cereal harvests in these areas. Pending the results from the joint FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) that is currently underway, 2016 rice production is provisionally forecast to be close to average; however, sharp cereal production shortfalls are anticipated in the south.

Damage from locusts has been generally minimal during the 2015/16 agricultural campaign, mainly reflecting the impact of the joint FAO/Government of Madagascar three-year anti-locust programme (2013-2016). The operations have significantly reduced the numbers and gregarity of the locust populations as well as the geographical extension of the infestations.

Rice prices slightly up on previous year

Rice prices began to seasonally decline from February 2016, as the early harvest alleviated supply pressure. As of April 2016, the national average rice price of local varieties was slightly above its year earlier value.

Consecutive poor agricultural seasons severely impact food security in the south

Food security conditions in southern regions are critical following four consecutive years of reduced cereal outputs. Tight supplies from households’ own production have weakened food availability and access for large proportions of the population, with the worst‑affected regions being Androy and Anosy. Based on a rapid assessment by the Food Security Cluster in March 2016, an estimated 1.14 million people in the south are food insecure, of which 665 000 are severely food insecure. More detailed assessments of the prevailing situation will be available following the completion of the CFSAM.