Special Report: FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission to Madagascar (27 October 2016)



  • The 2015/16 cropping season was mainly characterized by a significant decline in crop production in southern parts of Madagascar, reflecting severe El Niño-induced drought conditions; the impact was particularly pronounced in the regions of Androy, Anosy, Atsimo Andrefana and Ihorombe. In the north, the regions of Sofia and Boeny, as well as the district of Maevatanana in Betsiboka region, were also adversely affected. In addition, localized floods were reported in Sofia, but the impact on paddy production was more limited.
  • In the major rice-producing areas of the country, particularly in the centre, north and west, good rainfall was observed. Moreover, favourable weather conditions that prevailed in these areas during July and August, boosted production prospects for the secondary season rice crop.
  • Damage caused by locusts to crops and pastures in 2016 was negligible at the national level. The infestation was largely contained owing to the three-year anti-locust response programme (2013-2016). However, swarms of Malagasy migratory locusts were spotted in the districts of Sakaraha (Atsimo Andrefana) and Maevatanana (Betsiboka).
  • National rice (paddy) production is estimated at just over 3.8 million tonnes in 2016, 2.5 percent above the previous year, but down 5 percent below the five-year average.
  • The drought in southern regions reduced the national outputs of maize and cassava given the regions’ significant contribution to the total domestic production. Maize production is estimated at 316 000 tonnes, down 4 percent compared to the harvest in 2015 and 19 percent below the average. Cassava production, estimated at 2.6 million tonnes, is down 1.8 percent from 2015 and 16 percent lower than the recent five-year average.
  • The cereal import requirement for the 2016/17 marketing year (April/March) is estimated at approximately 518 000 tonnes, compared to 551 000 tonnes in the previous year. Rice (milled) imports, forecast at 272 000 tonnes, account for the bulk of the requirements, with maize and wheat import needs estimated at 97 000 tonnes and 150 000 tonnes, respectively.
  • According to the results from the household food security survey, out of the nine regions covered, the majority of households that are classified as severely food insecurity are located in the three drought affected southern regions (Androy, Anosy and Atsimo Andrefana).
  • The Mission estimates that over 1.2 million people are food insecure in Madagascar’s three southern regions, of which approximately 617 000 people are categorized as moderately food insecure and almost 600 000 are severely food insecure. Although compared to 2015, an overall reduction in the number of food insecure people was estimated, there was an increase in the estimate of severely food insecure persons.
  • In southeastern coastal regions, the food insecurity situation is characterized by a high number of households in moderate food insecurity compared to previous years, mainly reflecting the deterioration in purchasing power, as a result of higher prices and reduced crop production.
  • In the northern region of Sofia, the food security situation is more favourable, despite the impact of localized floods earlier this year, which mainly affected the secondary season paddy crop (Asara); the main rainfed cropping season as well as the first (Jeby) and tertiary seasons (Atriatry) received generally beneficial rainfall.