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Consecutive years of drought amplified this year by El Niño will have lasting impact

 

Photo credit: FAO

This year’s El Niño has amplified the impact of consecutive years of drought in southern Madagascar.

Crop losses in southern Madagascar mean severe hunger likely to persist into 2017

The impact of severe El Niño-induced drought on crop production in southern Madagascar, where nearly 850 000 people are acutely food insecure, is likely to persist into 2017 and requires an intensified humanitarian response.

The lack of sufficient rains in the southern region of Androy alone resulted in an 80 percent decline in maize production this year compared with the already reduced levels of 2015.

Prolonged drought also seriously affected the production of another staple food, cassava, in both Androy and another southern region, Atsimo-Andrefana, where cassava production dropped by approximately half. People living in these areas have been hit by successive droughts over the last few years and their hunger situation is expected to remain severely stressed into 2017.

Meanwhile, parched conditions in the regions of Atsimo-Andrefana, Boeny, Melaky, Betsiboka and Ihorombe had a significant negative impact on rice production; with production declines of between 25 and 60 percent reported in these regions, according to a new FAO/World Food Programme (WFP) report released today based on data collected in July/August 2016.

1.4 million people food insecure

Recently updated figures  show how the impact on agricultural production has undermined human food security. Some 1.4 million people are estimated to be food insecure in 2016/17 in Madagascar’s three southern regions of Androy, Anosy and Atsimo-Andrefana. Of these, around nearly 850 000 are acutely food insecure — meaning they are not able to meet their food needs and require urgent humanitarian assistance, according to the most recent Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis for Madagascar.

Read the full article: FAO

 

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.