Favorable rainfall for cereal planting in the South
Rainfall has been average to above-average throughout Madagascar since the start of the 2018 rainy season. Particularly in the South, according to Agricultural Meteorology Unit, rainfall during October was generally above normal and favorable to maize, sorghum and cowpea sowing. Farmers started laboring fields and sowing seeds, but poor farmers did not have enough seeds to plant as usual as a result of previous season’s bad production, leading to only 75 percent of regularly cropped land to be planted on this season.
Food prices remain stable compared to last month although they are between 20 to 30 percent above the 5-year average. Imported rice prices are higher than last year because of currency depreciation and higher transportation costs. However, prices of local rice remain the same due to increased supply despite persistent inflation. The average price of maize is lower than last year because of increased production in the southeast and east of the country; Some maize harvests are already happening in Betioky and Tulear II. Tuber prices are stable compared to last month, but very high compared to last year (+ 50 percent) particularly in deficit areas like Tsihombe and Beloha.
According to SISAV data, prices of small ruminants have remained stable at MGA 200,000 since May 2018 but are still above last year and 5-year average prices. Stable cattle prices, around MGA 400,000, have been observed in the South following the decline in prices from May-July 2018. Cattle prices are still below last year’s levels except in Beloha where a higher decapitalization occurred due to the more severe food insecurity situation.
Poor and very poor households in the Mahafaly plains (MG23) in the southwest continue to experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity because of depleted food stocks and assets, and high dependence on markets while prices are increasing drastically. Androy Semi-Arid Cassava, Maize and Livestock livelihood zone (MG24) is in Crisis! (IPC Phase 3!) due to assistance, but food security is deteriorating as the lean season progresses and households are becoming more dependent on wild food consumption. The level of food insecurity is less severe in the Southeast (MG 19) and Rice and lima beans livelihood zone (MG 20), which both remain in Stressed (IPC Phase 2).
Humanitarian assistance remains low in food insecure regions of the south even after the publication of the October 2018 National IPC Analysis that presented Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes in the current and projected periods for Beloha, and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes in the projected period for Amapanihy. While appeals are ongoing, CRS and WFP continue to deliver food assistance to 80 percent of the populations in eight communes of Beloha and 3 communes of Tsihombe. CARE is also providing assistance in Ambovombe, and ADRA is providing assistance in Bekily and Betioky.