Angola: ICRC on the alert to prevent food shortage

Report
from International Committee of the Red Cross
Published on 30 May 1996
"Given present conditions, the harvest on the Central Planalto will not reach half the amount needed for people's subsistence, nor will there be any surplus for trading or planting";, ICRC agronomists concluded following a survey on the food situation in Huambo Province and the Ganda region in Central Angola. The survey determined that the main reasons for the shortage were limited secure zones and the presence of minefields, low labour capacity, farming in areas with extremely poor soil quality, irregular climatic conditions and a lack of seed for short-term harvests.
Under its agricultural assistance programme for 1996, the ICRC aims to support the production of subsistence crops so as to alleviate food shortages anticipated as a result of poor harvests. The ICRC survey also recommends long-term technical solutions for soil improvement, mechanization and large-scale food production, with a view to restoring the region's agricultural production to full capacity.

Targeted to vulnerable populations, the first seed distribution is scheduled for the July planting of irrigated land and is to benefit 75,000 families. A second distribution for the September planting of larger tracts of non-irrigated land will reach 60,000 families. During the past year, the ICRC has distributed 1,500 tonnes of seed to 172,000 families, within both government and UNITA-controlled areas.