Following two cyclones in February 2012, market and household food stocks are low in several municipalities of the East, North East and South East. Household incomes have decreased in these areas. The 2012 rice harvest has declined this year, and vulnerable households are shifting to alternative foods such as imported rice, cassava and sweet potato.
In the drought-prone South, rainfall was generally sufficient this year, leading to a decline in tuber prices. Nevertheless, cereal prices remain 25 per cent higher than last year. In north Amboasary and east Bekily, a resurgence in insecurity and cattle rustling has taken place since May. Cattle thefts drastically reduce the capital that households rely on for food access during the lean season. Insecurity is also limiting physical access to markets, hampering households’ ability to buy and sell goods and avail of casual labor opportunities. It is also limiting the transfer of food from surplus to deficit zones. An early onset of the lean season is expected; intense pressure on household livelihoods is expected between November and March in these areas.