Multiple shocks cause major crop production losses, elevating food insecurity
- Malagasy migratory locusts have expanded beyond their endemic areas in the southwestern quadrant of Madagascar to affect over two-thirds of the country. Recent estimates indicate that resulting rice crop losses ranged from 10 to 40 percent in affected areas.
- 2012/13 paddy rice production was estimated to be 3.6 million MT, 18 percent below the five-year average. Harvests of maize and cassava were also below-average. Several factors contributed to this drop, including rainfall deficits, the locust outbreak, and Cyclone Haruna.
- Despite lower crop production, poor households in most of the country will continue to meet basic food and nonfood needs between October and the end of the consumption year in March 2014 through positive coping strategies such as switching to cheaper foods, expanding livestock and charcoal sales, and/or increasing labor work activities. As a result, poor households in most areas are expected to face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity.
- Food insecurity is acute, however, in southwestern areas, where households experienced multiple shocks (locusts and Cyclone Haruna). Poor households in these areas are having difficulties meeting nonfood needs and are currently Stressed (IPC Phase 2). As the lean season progresses, these households will face some slight food deficits and acute food security outcomes are expected to deteriorate to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels. Appropriate and well-targeted emergency response will be needed to prevent food consumption gaps and protect livelihoods.
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