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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