The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), warns that the country is facing a potentially devastating locust plague, which could endanger the crops and livelihoods of some 460,000 rural families. The Malagasy Migratory Locusts that are usually contained in the South West region of the country are spreading to the north and east, as a result of the last rainy season, which created perfect conditions for breeding. Rice crops and cereals are in particular danger of consumption by the insects, although FAO officer Annie Monard says, ‘they are able to eat everything’.
The FAO plans to attack the problem by implementing a control campaign prior to Madagascar’s next rainy season, due to start in mid October. However USD15m is required in order to carry out the campaign, which will encompass 500,000 hectares of land.