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Madagascar, or Republic of Madagascar (older name Malagasy Republic, French: République malgache), is an island nation in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa. The main island, also called Madagascar, is the fourth-largest island in the world, and is home to 5% of the world's plant and animal species, of which more than 80% are endemic to Madagascar. They include the lemur infraorder of primates, the carnivorous fossa, three bird families and six baobab species. Two thirds of the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.


Cuisine of Madagascar traditionally consists of a base of rice (vary) with some form of accompaniment (laoka), although in the southwest rice may be supplemented or replaced by maize that has been dried, ground and reconstituted. Cuisines of France, China, India, and to a lesser extent East African and Arabian cultures have all made their influence felt in Madagascar.

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