Antananarivo, Oct 17 — Nearly half of Madagascar’s 20 million population faces malnutrition, the National Office of Nutrition (ONN) in the Indian Ocean island state disclosed Wednesday.
Speaking on the World Food Day, ONN official Lova Ralambomahay said the chronic malnutrition rate in Madagascar is 50.10 percent while the 26.40 percent of people in the country suffer from acute malnutrition, Xinhua reported.
Ralambomahay said this figure is the result of a survey done in 2009 covering 6,000 sites of ONN in 22 regions, adding that only four out of 22 regions in Madagascar have a low rate of chronic malnutrition.
The 33rd World Food Day was observed with a theme of ‘Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition’. A ceremony to mark the day was attended by Madagascar’s minister of agriculture and minister of livestock, of fisheries and representatives from related international organisations.
Opening the ceremony, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) representative Talla Patrice said that 840 million of people suffer from lack of food, while one of four children is victim in the world.
Minister of Agriculture Rolland Ravatomanga said that to cope with food insecurity, Madagascar will sign the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) next week with the secretary general of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Sindiso Ngwenya, who will represent the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
FAO and the World Food Programme (WFP) recently reported that as many as four million people in rural areas of Madagascar are food insecure partly due to this year’s reduced harvest.
FAO and the WFP showed that approximately 28 percent of rural households were suffering from food insecurity, of which 2.7 percent were severely food insecure and nearly 25 percent moderately food insecure.
Rice production in Madagascar dropped by 21 percent in 2013, resulting in a national rice deficit of 240,000 metric tonnes for the 2013-2014 marketing year.
Maize production in 2013 will also not satisfy domestic requirements with 28,000 metric tonnes of maize expected to be imported to alleviate the deficit.
-Indo-Asian News Service