Monday, October 14, 2013

Floods, locusts leave Madagascar hungry

IRIN: ...Erratic weather and a locust plague have taken a toll on Madagascar’s rice and maize harvests this year, leaving as many as 4 million people - 28 percent of households - in rural areas food insecure, according to a recent World Food Program (WFP)/Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report. A further 9.6 million people are estimated to be at risk of food insecurity.

The joint Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission, conducted in June and July by WFP and FAO, attributed the poor agricultural season to a combination of factors including flooding caused by Cyclone Haruna earlier this year, followed by a period of poor rains.

...According to the WFP/FAO report, rice production declined by 21 percent this year, resulting in a significant national rice deficit. Maize production is also down and an estimated 28,000 metric tons of maize will need to be imported to meet domestic needs....

Rice paddies in Madagascar, shot by Jean-Louis Vandevivère, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license

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