The Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) monitors trends in staple food prices in countries vulnerable to food insecurity. For each FEWS NET country and region, the Price Bulletin provides a set of charts showing monthly prices in the current marketing year in selected urban centers and allowing users to compare current trends with both five-year average prices, indicative of seasonal trends, and prices in the previous year.
Locally-produced rice is the most important staple food for households in northern and central Madagascar. Imported rice is a less-preferred substitute, but often consumed by poor households because it is cheaper than locally-produced rice and expands more during the cooking. Dried cassava is the primary staple food in the south, although it is consumed in other parts of the country during the lean season when household food stocks are low. Maize is the third most important staple and the second most consumed cereal in Madagascar. Antananarivo, the capital city, is the largest urban market and is the major hub for the country’s staple food trade networks. Antananarivo is a net consumer of staple food and is supplied by imports arriving through the port of Toamasina and from key surplus producing areas throughout the country. Antsirabe, the second urban market, is located in the surplus rice-producing Vakinankaratra region and one of the markets that supply Antananarivo. Located on the eastern coast, Toamasina is the main port city of Madagascar where major quantity of imported commodities comes before traded throughout the country. The southern Madagascar including Ambovombe, Tsihombe, Amboasary and Fianarantsoa markets are the main providers of cassava and maize.