High prices in Southern Madagascar limit poor households’ food access
The 2019 cyclonic season is very active; Cyclone Gelena, the third cyclone of the year passed by northern Madagascar in early February, bringing the cumulative rainfall to more than 50 percent above normal in the north. Elsewhere, cumulative rainfall is near normal except in western Madagascar and localized areas of deficit throughout the country
Western Madagascar received only 50 percent of its normal rainfall over the past three consecutive years, leading to a loss of 80 percent of rice production in that zone. This year, production is expected to be similarly poor as last year.
In total, Madagascar imported 668,000 MT of rice in the 2017/2018 marketing year, which was twice the amount of the previous year and of the 5-year average. For the first semester of 2018/2019, rice imports were lower than first semester 2017/2018 but were still above average despite improved national rice production in 2017/2018.
Prices of staple foods are largely stable but above normal, particularly in Southern Madagascar. In Tsihombe, a kilo of maize was in midJanuary 2019, was a 78 percent more expensive than in December 2018 and almost triple the price from January 2018.