FAO in Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and Seychelles

The Government of Madagascar and FAO are collaborating closely in the implementation of the 2021/22 locust control campaign

(c) FAO, 2021 / Tsito Andriamaroahina

An urgent appeal for funds was launched for the locust outbreak response


Antananarivo, 15 July 2021 – Madagascar is affected by various factors that strongly impact the population’s food security and livelihoods, as well as the agriculture sector. Production is significantly affected by persistent climatic hazards, Rift Valley fever, which affects animal health, fall armyworm, and the effects of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Today, the country is facing a new crisis characterized by the resurgence of attacks by the Malagasy migratory locust, which can quickly cause disastrous consequences for crops thus worsening the population’s food insecurity and malnutrition which are already at alarming levels in the country.

In order to respond to the situation, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MAEP) have jointly developed an Action Plan for rapid response, which will be implemented and coordinated jointly by MAEP’s locust control centre (Établissement chargé de la lutte antiacridienne) and FAO. The main objective is to carry out a locust control campaign - aerial and by land - and to strengthen national capacities in locust management. The campaign will need to last several months to limit the increase of locust and prevent new outbreaks. In addition, rapid interventions from the larval stage, especially in landlocked areas, will be the most effective approach to manage the situation. In the framework of the Plan, around 400 000 ha of land will be treated against the Malagasy migratory locust between November 2021 and May 2022. The Plan is made up of four components: (i) improve monitoring and analysis of the locust situation; (ii) carry out large-scale land and aerial control operations and train stakeholders; (iii) monitor and protect human health and the environment; and (iv) carry out an evaluation of the campaign and of the impact of locusts on crops and pastures.

Under the Action Plan, FAO urgently requires USD 6.8 million to launch the campaign, which must coincide with the next rainy season, cropping seasons and the locust breeding season (November 2021-May 2022). The timely mobilization of these funds will ensure the supply and prepositioning of all inputs and equipment that are essential for an effective locust control campaign.

It is crucial to respond to this crisis and to rapidly eradicate the Malagasy migratory locust, in order to prevent a further deterioration of food insecurity in the country and an irreversible disruption of agricultural activities. To this end, all the necessary financial resources and inputs must be mobilized and prepositioned before the start of the rainy season; otherwise, undetected or uncontrolled locust populations will continue to breed. Immediate action is urgently needed to avoid a new locust invasion in the country, already known in 2012, and its impacts on the food security of the most vulnerable populations.