GIEWS Country Brief: Angola 19-November-2018

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  • Below average rains in October hindered planting operations of 2019 crop

  • Cereal production in 2018 estimated at above average level

  • Food prices higher, pressured by weaker national currency

  • Food security situation expected to have worsened slightly

Planting of 2019 cereal crops underway

Planting of the 2019 cereal crops, mostly maize, is underway. Favourable rains in September in the large central cereal-producing provinces benefitted crop establishment of the early planted crop. However, a period of below-average rainfall in October has impeded sowing activities and retarded crop development.

Weather forecasts for the remainder of the season, with the harvest to begin from March 2019, points to an increased likelihood of below-average rains in the far south of the country, where millet and sorghum are predominantly produced. In the central maize-producing provinces, forecasts are more favourable. The seasonal weather outlooks take into account the high probability of an El Niño event occurring in the next months. Although this weather phenomenon has not historically affected Angola as much as neighbouring countries, it is typically associated with reduced precipitation across the subregion.

Cereal production in 2018 estimated at above average levels

Cereal production in 2018 is 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 mostly reflects a period of below-average rains in February and March 2018 that depressed yield levels.

Cereal prices higher, pressured by weaker currency

Since the abandonment of the peg system with the US dollar in January 2018, the sharp depreciation of the kwanza has exerted additional upward pressure on food prices. Latest available data from July 2018 shows that nominal prices of maize flour and rice in Luanda were 9 and 14 percent, respectively, higher than their year-earlier values.

Food security conditions expected to have worsened slightly

Although data on the number of food insecure people is not yet available for 2018/19, the higher food prices and estimated decrease in cereal production, although still remaining above average, is expected to have stressed food security conditions in 2018 compared to 2017, when an estimated 750 000 people were in need of food assistance.

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