Situation Update: Locust Crisis in Madagascar - 25 September 2013


• Since April 2012, Madagascar has been facing a plague of the Malagasy Migratory Locust, that threatens the livelihoods of million people in the country,million of whom earn a living from agriculture.

• Up to two-­‐thirds of the country are feared infested. Findings from a damage assessment conducted in May 2013 indicate that rice crop losses due to locusts in 2012/13 vary fromto as much aspercent inof Madagascar’sregions.

• The Ministry of Agriculture of Madagascar declared a national disaster onNovember 2012 and requested assistance from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to address the current locust plague.

• It is estimated that at least three successive locust control campaigns costing USD 41.5 million are required to return to a recession period by treating overmillion hectares between September 2013 and September 2016. One or two campaigns alone, will not be enough to reach this objective.

• The three-­‐year programme jointly prepared by FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture in response to the plague, implemented and coordinated by FAO, focuses on: o Improving the monitoring and analysis of the locust situation o Large-­‐scale aerial control operations o Monitoring and mitigating the impact of locust control operations on human health and the environment o Assessing the effectiveness of each locust campaign and the impact of locusts on crops and pastures

• The current funding gap is USD 18.4 million required for the 2014/15 and 2015/16 campaigns.
Should all the funds not be available on time to undertake the campaigns, the plague could wipe out food crops and livestock pastures – and with it, a family’s ability to provide for itself.


During the past few weeks, prevailing southwesterly winds and vegetation drying-­‐out favored the movement of swarms from the outbreak area (southwest of Madagascar) towards the western and northeastern parts of the invasion area.

More reports of swarms as well as damage to young plants of rice and maize were reported from Maintirano, Tsiroanomandidy, Soavinandriana and Faratsiho areas.

In addition, some non-­‐gregarious locust populations already matured, and egg-­‐laying started in the central part of the outbreak area (Ranohira and Vavalovo).