GIEWS Country Brief: Angola 12-February-2019

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Crop production prospects in 2019 favourable in main cereal-producing provinces of centre

  • In southern provinces, however, below-average rainfall diminished production outlook

  • Food prices continued to rise, reflecting lower harvest in 2018 and weaker national currency

  • Food security situation worsened in southern provinces due to persisting dry weather conditions

Reduced rainfall diminishes 2019 production prospects in southern provinces

Harvesting of the 2019 cereal crops, primarily maize, is expected to start from March and national production is forecast at an average level. Since the start of the cropping season last October, seasonal rainfall has been generally sufficient for crop establishment and development in the main cereal-producing provinces of the centre and production is expected at an average level. By contrast, rainfall deficits were recorded in the south and stressed vegetation conditions occurred in Cuando Cubango, Cuene and southern parts of Huila provinces. In these provinces, which represent a minor share of the national output, production is likely to fall short of the average. Poor rains and below-average vegetation conditions are also expected to result in a deterioration in livestock conditions.

Cereal production in 2018 estimated at above average levels

Cereal production in 2018 was estimated at 2.5 million tonnes, about 13 percent lower than the bumper output of 2017, but still above average. The year-on-year decrease is mainly on account of a period of below-average rains in February and March 2018 that depressed yield levels.

Cereal prices continued to rise

Food prices increased steadily throughout most of 2018 and, by last October, prices of cassava and maize, two key food staples, were about 15 percent higher on a yearly basis in Luanda. The lower cereal output in 2018 and the sharp depreciation of the national currency were both contributory factors.

Poor food security conditions in southern provinces

Persistent dry weather conditions in southern provinces caused a reduction in food production in 2018 and resulted in stressed food security conditions. The provinces most affected are Namibe and Cunene. Higher food prices are further aggravating the situation and the current unfavourable production prospects negatively weigh on food security outlook.