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Seasonal Poverty in Madagascar: Magnitude and Solutions

Seasonal reductions in food consumption pull about one million Malagasy below the poverty line during the lean season. There they join the nine million more who remain chronically undernourished throughout the year. Because the seasonality of food shortages coincides with the increased prevalence of diarrhea and other diseases during the rainy season, the resulting lean season exacts a heavy toll in the form of increased rates of malnutrition and child mortality. Combining the results of recent field studies with a seasonal multi-market model, this paper measures the probable impacts of three common interventions aimed at combatting seasonal food insecurity. We find the most promising interventions to be those that increase agricultural productivity of the secondary food crops such as cassava, other roots and tubers, and maize.

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Paper provided by HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 02-09.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iea:carech:0209
Contact details of provider: Postal: Institut d'économie appliquée HEC Montréal 3000, Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine Montréal, Québec H3T 2A7
Phone: (514) 340-6463
Fax: (514) 340-6469
Web page: http://www.hec.ca/iea/
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  1. Dorosh, Paul A. & Haggblade, Steven, 1997. "Shifting sands: The changing case for monetizing project food aid in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(12), pages 2093-2104, December.
  2. Barrett, Christopher B., 1997. "Liberalization and food price distributions: ARCH-M evidence from Madagascar," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 155-173, April.
  3. Anderson, Jock R. & Pardey, Philip G. & Roseboom, Johannes, 1994. "Sustaining growth in agriculture: a quantitative review of agricultural research investments," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 10(2), April.
  4. Pinstrup-Andersen, Per & Pandya-Lorch, Rajul & Rosegrant, Mark W., 1999. "World food prospects," Food policy reports 9, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  6. Ravallion, Martin, 1991. "Reaching the Rural Poor through Public Employment: Arguments, Evidence, and Lessons from South Asia," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 6(2), pages 153-75, July.
  7. Barrett, Christopher B., 1997. "Food marketing liberalization and trader entry: Evidence from Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 763-777, May.
  8. Berg, Elliot, 1989. "The liberalization of rice marketing in Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 719-728, May.
  9. Oehmke, James F & Crawford, Eric W, 1996. "The Impact of Agricultural Technology in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 5(2), pages 271-92, June.
  10. C. Peter Timmer, 1997. "POLICY ARENA Building efficiency in agricultural marketing: The long-run role of BULOG in the Indonesian food economy," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(1), pages 133-145.
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