Angola

GIEWS Country Brief: Angola 07-April-2021

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FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Unfavourable production prospects for 2021 cereal crops due to worst drought in 30 years

  • Cereal imports estimated at near‑average level in 2020/21

  • Prices of food continued to increase, underpinned by weak currency

High prevalence of food insecurity in 2021 due to severe drought and negative effects of COVID‑19 pandemic

Unfavourable production prospects for 2021 cereal crops due to worst drought in 30 years Harvesting of the 2021 cereal crops, mostly maize, started in March and the output is forecast well below the average due to unfavourable weather conditions. Despite beneficial rainfall at the start of the season in October and November 2020, seasonal rainfall has been poorly distributed temporally and spatially. Cumulative rainfall amounts (October‑March) in the key producing southwestern and central provinces of Namibe, Cunene, Huila and Cuanza Sul were 60‑80 percent below the average, representing the worst drought in the last 30 years. Stressed vegetation conditions were observed ahead of the harvest in most cropped areas, indicating that crop yields are likely to be below average.

Poor vegetation conditions and reduced availability of water for livestock were also observed in rangelands across the country, affecting livestock body condition and production.

Infestations of African Migratory Locust (AML) are an additional risk to crop and livestock production in 2021. Reports from the country indicate that AML swarms increased between January and March 2021 in southeastern parts, mostly in the Cuando Cubango Province. However, assessments of the actual extent of the area affected and the damage caused by AMLs are not available. The Government, with support from FAO, is currently conducting an evaluation of the affected areas to establish the level of infestation and assess the damage to crops.

Cereal import requirements estimated at near‑average level in 2020/21

On average, cereal imports cover an estimated 40 percent of the national consumption needs. In the 2020/21 marketing year (April/March), cereal imports, mostly wheat and rice that are produced at negligible levels in the country, are forecast at 1.4 million tonnes, slightly higher year on year and about 8 percent above the previous five‑year average, reflecting population growth.

Reflecting the foreseen decline in maize production in 2021, cereal import requirements in the 2021/22 marketing year are anticipated at above‑average levels in order to meet the country’s maize consumption needs.

Prices of food continued to increase, underpinned by weak currency

According to the latest data by the Instituto Nacional de Estatística (INE), prices of food increased by 2 percent on average in January and February 2021 compared to the preceding month. Since 2019, the price increases mainly reflect the effects of a weak national currency, which lost about 30 percent of its value against the US dollar over the last 12 months to February 2021.

High prevalence of food insecurity in 2021 due to severe drought and negative effects of COVID‑19 pandemic

According to a recent Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping Assessment by the World Food Programme, an estimated 3.8 million people had inadequate food consumption as of January 2021, with 62 percent of the households resorting to crisis or emergency livelihood coping strategies, such as spending savings and reducing the consumption of essential non‑food items. The highest prevalence of food insecurity is reported in the southwestern provinces and reflects the localized production shortfalls in 2020 and high prices of food staples. The situation is expected to worsen due to the anticipated drought‑reduced 2021 agricultural output and the economic downturn associated to the COVID‑19 pandemic. The national economy is severely affected by the low international price of oil, which is the main foreign exchange earner and the largest source of Government revenue.

In order to support access to food for vulnerable households that were most affected by the pandemic, the Government initiated the first phase of the Social Cash Transfer Programme in May 2020. The Programme, which makes monthly disbursements of AOA 8 500 (about USD 14) to vulnerable households, assisted 1.6 million households in 2020 and plans to support 700 000 households in 2021.