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Medagascar

  • 587,040 kmē
  • 20° 00' S
  • 47° 00' E
  • Antananarivo
  • MGA
  • 20215199.22
  • 34/km2
  • English, French
  • Republic
  • 18.2 Billion US$
  • UTC+3
Medagascar Map
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Medagascar Map

Madagascar is an African country made up of one large island and many tiny nearby islands. Antananarivo is the capital as well as largest city of Madagascar. Madagascar lies in the Indian Ocean about 240 miles (386 kilometres) south-east of the African mainland. Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world. In the east, forested mountain slopes rise from a narrow coastal strip fringed with rocks and reefs. Inland are cool, high plateaus which, in many places, have been stripped bare of natural vegetation. Precious hardwood trees have been felled for fuel and to clear land for farming. The hot and humid western lowlands give way to arid scrub in the south. Most people live in the central region or along the east coast of the Island. The coastal areas often suffer from destructive cyclones.

Madagascar separated from the African mainland about 160 million years ago and many of the animals of the island evolved into species were seen nowhere else on earth. Tragically, human settlement and the loss of the forests of the island mean that today its soil is the most eroded in the world and no fewer than 127 animal species are considered to be endangered.Most of the people depend on agriculture, though only five per cent of the land can be farmed. People of Madagascar grow rice, sweet potatoes and cassava for food. They raise cattle in the west of the island and fish in the rivers and lakes as well as the sea. Factory workers pack meat, brew beer and refine sugar. Madagascar has rich deposits of graphite, chromite and semi-precious stones such as beryl and garnet. Offshore reserves of oil may point to a more prosperous future, but so far have not proved to be worth exploiting commercially.