Madagascan highland plateau Photo: Anlance
New York, US- Some four million people in rural Madagascar are food insecure after rice and maize production took a bad hit this year due to weather conditions and a locust invasion, according to UN agencies.
UN statement on Friday on a report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said the food shortages had been caused by a combination of factors.
They include erratic weather conditions last year and cyclones early this year which caused flooding followed by a period of poor rains.
It quoted Mr. David Orr, WFP spokesperson in Johannesburg, South Africa, as saying that the agencies conducted a crop and food security assessment in Madagascar in June and July.
“We have just released the results — four million people are estimated to be food insecure following this year’s very poor harvest as a result of bad weather and a locust invasion.
“We estimate in fact that nearly 10 million more people could be at risk of food insecurity as the so-called lean season progresses. This is the period between now and the harvest which is expected in March of next year,” he stated.
Mr. Orr also said that WFP and its partners were responding to the situation and hope to assist nearly one million people who are the most vulnerable section of the population on the island this year.
However, he added that the lack of resources did not make it easy to respond to the food insecurity in Madagascar.