The outlook for the 1999/2000 rice crop
is unfavourable. After a good start of the rainy season in November, below-
average precipitation from the third decade of December to the first dekad
of February in the main growing areas in the north has resulted in severe
planting and yield reductions. In the important growing region of Lac Alaotra,
only 20- 25 percent of the area under rice have been cultivated this season.
Paddy production is forecast to decline from the good level of 1999.
The food supply situation is satisfactory
reflecting the 1999 good cereal harvest, particularly in the structurally
deficit areas of the South.