Below-average second (main) season rice harvest is expected in May-June
- The central high plains and southeastern Madagascar experienced severe dryness and drought in January and early February. In the south, however, although the rainy season was approximately 5 – 7 weeks late overall levels of precipitation were near average during the month of January.
- Food prices, particularly for both domestic and imported rice, increased rapidly on key references markets in January and February as traders reacted to prospects of a potential second consecutive rice crop failure. In Antananarivo, rice prices increased by 25 percent during the last week of January and the price of maize doubled. In February, prices remained high. All urban centers were affected as well as some communes of the southeast that rely heavily on market purchases.
- Half rations assistance distributed in the south by WFP, ADRA and CRS is still playing an important role in reducing food consumption gaps until May 2017. Despite the near average rain and the expected near average harvests of maize and pulses, areas in the south that were affected by drought in the past 3 years will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through the remainder of the lean season.