FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Dry spell affects crop conditions in coastal regions, but average rains received in central provinces
Import requirements, mainly wheat and rice, estimated at a higher level in 2011/12 marketing year (April/March), as a result of the smaller cereal harvest gathered in 2011
Dry spell impacts coastal regions
Since the turn of 2012, inadequate rains in coastal areas resulted in a protracted dry spell that negatively impacted on crop performance. In Bocoio municipality, central Benguela province, an estimated 55 000 hectares of maize and beans (representing about 17 percent of the total area planted for the province for these crops) were lost due to the dry spell. This could affect localised supplies and result in reduced household supplies for the next marketing year. However, in the large maize producing provinces of Cuanza Sul, Huambo and Bie, rains have been generally satisfactory, with remotely sensed data indicating average to above average vegetation conditions. Torrential rains were recorded in parts of the southern provinces of Cunene and Kuando Kubango, increasing the risk of flooding.
A drop in the 2011 cereal harvest was recorded
The 2011 cereal (mainly maize), harvested between March and June 2011 is estimated at 692 000 tonnes, representing a drop of about 50 percent relative to the bumper harvest achieved in 2010. Heavy rains from December 2010 through March 2011 led to flooding and consequently localised crop losses in southern provinces, particularly in areas bordering Namibia. At this level, domestic production is estimated to cover approximately 32 percent of total national requirements, compared to an average of 51 percent for the preceding five marketing years (2006/07-2010/11).
Cereal import requirements higher for 2011/12
Consequently, cereal import requirements for the current 2011/12 marketing year (April/March) are estimated at about 881 000 tonnes, up on the previous year’s 808 000 tonnes. Wheat and rice constitute the bulk of the imports. The good stock levels from the favourable harvest in 2010 are also expected to help off-set some of the production short-fall.