Between October and November 2017, a series of market assessments were conducted across Southern Africa by FEWS NET, in collaboration with key national and international partners. The findings from the assessment in Madagascar are key inputs to this report, which provides an update to the May 2017 Supply and Market Outlook report.
Staple food production in Madagascar was below average in 2017. This was due to a combination of factors including Cyclone Enawo in the northeastern parts of the country, atypical dryness in many northern regions, which reduced crop yields, and relatively high cash crop prices (vanilla), which affected area planted. Harvests in southern Madagascar, were near average this year, following consecutive years of drought. At the national level, rice and maize harvests were each approximately 20 percent below 2016 levels and 11 to 21 percent below the five-year average. Cassava harvest saw a modest recovery compared to 2016 but remained similarly below-average.
Rice imports continued to play an important role in staple food supply in 2017. In response to above-average domestic supply gaps, more than 400,000 metric tons (MT) of rice were imported during the first ten months of 2017, which is 78 percent above-average and double the amount imported in 2016.
Staple food and cash crop prices are above-average. In main cities like Antananarivo, Toamasina and Antsirabe, local and imported rice prices have been particularly high since October 2017 peaking over 2,000 Ariary (MGA) per kilogram. Average local harvest and the availability of imports contribute to relatively stable prices in structurally deficit southern Madagascar.
Forecasts predict weather for a more favorable harvest in MY 2017/18 than MY 2016/17. The intensity of the cyclone season, which began in November, will likely have a strong impact on food security outcomes and should continue to be monitored closely.