MADAGASCAR—The Madagascan Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock has approved an exceptional import of 26,000 tonnes of corn to address the country’s current corn shortage.

This government intervention follows a request from the country’s Avian Interprofessional Association (IPA) members, who have been grappling with a sharp increase in corn prices over recent weeks.

The stock, therefore, is dedicated exclusively to the production of poultry feed, ensuring that the poultry industry can continue to operate smoothly despite the local shortfall.

In early June, the price of corn surged to between 1,550 and 1,600 ariarys (US$0.34 and US$0.35) per kilogram, up from 1,250 to 1,300 ariarys (US$0.27 to US$0.29) in early May.

This represents a significant 23% increase within a month, causing concern among producers and consumers alike.

The IPA has expressed concerns that without governmental intervention, the price of corn could escalate to 3,000 ariarys (US$0.67) per kilogram by October or November.

In Madagascar, corn holds a significant place in the diet of its citizens, being the second most consumed cereal after rice.

However, local production has been inadequate, leading to a shortage that severely affects the availability of this essential cereal for animal feed.

This price hike is attributed to the disparity between the low prices at which producers sell their corn and the high prices at which it is sold to consumers, creating a challenging market dynamic.

The root of this crisis lies in the insufficient local supply. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Madagascar’s annual corn production is approximately 220,000 tonnes, while the annual consumption reaches nearly 230,000 tonnes.

This deficit exacerbates the problem, especially considering that around 40% of the local corn production is utilized as raw material for animal feed.

The country, however, has been making significant strides to boost cereal production.

Recently, the government of Madagascar signed a memorandum of understanding with South Korea aimed at enhancing the island nation’s rice production capabilities.

Ratohiarijaona Suzelin, Madagascar’s Minister of Agriculture, formalized the agreement with her South Korean counterpart, Song Mi Ryeong, on June 5, during the inaugural South Korea-Africa summit held in Seoul.

According to Suzelin, signing this agreement is a significant milestone in Madagascar’s journey towards self-sufficiency in cereal production, marking a crucial step in reducing its import dependency.



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