Given the precarious food security situation and continuing food supply difficulties facing the country, an FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission visited Angola from 15 April to 1 May 1998 to estimate the 1997/98 harvest of foodcrops and estimate cereal import requirements, including food aid for the 1998/99 marketing year. This year, 13 out of 18 provinces were visited at the time of harvest. Long road transects were driven by team members offering scope for extended observations, farmer interviews and crop inspections. For the remaining 5 provinces, reports of the current situation were obtained from the staff of the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER) and Social Assistance and Reintegration (MINARS) as well as from UN agencies and NGOs working with WFP’s local office. The Mission’s programme of visits was also constrained by reports from UN and other sources of a recent deterioration of the security situation in several provinces in the north-east, the north, the south and the south-west.
Discussions were held in Luanda with the relevant ministries, including MINARS, MINADER, Commerce and Industry; UN Agencies; donor and NGO representatives. At provincial and municipal levels, joint discussions were held with local government officials, line-agency staff, NGO officers, traders and farmers on the current agricultural season and associated problems of production and food security.
This year, observers from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and selected NGOs joined the Mission. Fruitful consultations were held with the EU and the USAID’s Famine Early Warning System (FEWS). A TCDC (Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries) expert from Mozambique also participated in the Mission.
Agricultural statistics provided to the Mission proved as unreliable this year as was observed during the previous missions. Consequently, crop area figures were again calculated from farm-family numbers derived from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates of rural population of each province. Such figures were cross-checked against MINADER planning data for credibility. Yields were estimated from information received from all key informants and from the Mission’s own observations.
With the exception of the south west/south zones, the 1997/98 rainfall was characterized by a normal start, a short mid-season dry spell and heavy rains in the first quarter of 1998. Generally, the rains were recorded as being the best in terms of quantity and distribution for many years. However, given the usual variation that exists in Angola, the south/south-west zones were identifiably areas of rainfall deficit with a late start, intermittent mid-season dry spell and an early finish.
As was reported last year, NGO and UN-Agency interventions providing seeds and tools were noted in most provinces. These actions have increased area under cultivation where internally displaced persons have land allocations and where returnees have resettled in their villages.
Nevertheless, production is limited as, for the most part, hand-cultivation predominates, fertilizers are in very short supply and plant protection chemicals and equipment are not available. Fortunately, this year no significant outbreaks of plant pests and diseases were noted, however storage losses will be high and the absence of control measures places the country’s farmers in a very vulnerable position.
The Mission forecasts 1997/98 cereal production at 594 000 tonnes, some 38 percent higher than last year’s poor-rain affected harvest, of which 85 percent is maize and the remainder is sorghum and millet.
Production of other crops, particularly cassava tubers, sweet potatoes and perennials is also estimated to be better from an increased area and better yields resulting from favourable rainfall. Given the situation last year, farm stocks of grains are not thought to be significant, having been drawn down over the year. Farm level food security is more likely to be found in un-dug cassava this year.
Given a mid-1998/99 marketing year population of 13.2 million and an expected annual per caput consumption of 70 kg plus losses and other uses of cereals estimated at 23.6 percent, domestic utilization is put at 1 064 000 tonnes. This leaves a deficit of 470 000 tonnes to be met by imports.
Public and commercial cereal imports are estimated at 350 000 tonnes, indicating a shortfall of 120 000 tonnes to be met by food aid. Some 750 000 people in vulnerable groups requiring emergency assistance include internally displaced persons, returnees and demobilized soldiers. It is estimated that 90 000 tonnes of relief food aid will be needed to meet their requirements.
In addition, food assistance will be required to assist the rehabilitation process. Even among settled populations, food insecurity remains high due to lack of income generating opportunities, low purchasing power, poor infrastructure, and an absence of transport and materials for movement of goods and commodities. Also, there are still restrictions on access to some UNITA areas, rendering surpluses inaccessible and leaving people elsewhere dependent on external sources.
As indicated in previous reports, the Mission’s estimates will need to be cross-checked against actual harvest data later this year. Such an exercise, even at pilot level, would greatly assist the assessment process, which presently has no form of triangulation to verify the validity of the assumptions made. In this regard, the Mission stressed, as in the previous year, the need for the Government to strengthen the country’s crop monitoring and agricultural statistics systems.
Angola is the fifth largest country in sub-Saharan Africa with a total area of 1.247 million sq. km and an estimated population of 12.6 million in 1997. The country has a vast agricultural potential with fertile soils in the northern region and the central highlands, where normal rainfall exceed 1000 mm. Livestock is predominant in the southern region, which receives lower rainfall, and is also less populated than the other regions. The country enjoys vast marine and river resources, particularly fisheries as well as an extensive forestry sector.
The country is endowed with other substantial natural resources, including extensive reserves of oil and gas, valuable minerals particularly diamonds and an important hydroelectric capacity from numerous rivers. The petroleum sector, which has been producing over 700 000 barrels of oil a day since late 1997, is second only to Nigeria’s in Sub-Saharan Africa. This figure may increase substantially given the current very high level of interest of world major oil companies now searching for new oil fields. The oil sector revenue continues to contribute over 40 percent of the country’s GDP, 75-90 percent of total export earnings and 75-85 percent of government revenue. However, the relative importance of the oil sector in the economy will be better evaluated in the future by taking into account diamonds, an important and growing revenue-earning sector. Since 1997, the central Government has gradually extended its control over the diamond-rich areas of the north-east in the former-UNITA zones, which were largely mined by an informal sector not reflected in the national accounts.
However, the Angolan society in general has so far gained little benefit from oil and diamonds. Much of the country’s earning has been used for defence and security-related activities and for repayment of a huge external debt exceeding US $ 12 billion in 1996, over 3 times the value of annual exports of goods and services. It is estimated that annual expenditure on defence and security increased from US $ 960 million in 1992 to US $ 1.6 billion in 1995 as a result of the financing of the fierce fighting of the 1992-94 period. Spiralling budget deficits, financed by money creation and accumulation of external debt arrears, have generated high levels of inflation, estimated at 1 650 percent in 1996 and 1500 percent in 1997. Wages and salaries have largely failed to keep pace with inflation and the total income from wages and salaries is estimated to have shrunk from 16 percent of GDP in 1992 to 9 percent in 1996. As a consequence, a large portion of the population lives in extreme poverty. Unemployment is rising and labour is shifting massively into the informal sector. The tight security situation and the related poor market integration also lead to low prices for farm products in rural areas, which reduces farmers’ income and their ability to meet other basic necessities: schooling of children, buying of clothes, soaps and food products.
The exchange rate of the readjusted Kwanza is pegged to the US dollar. The currency was devalued by 30 percent in mid-1997 in an attempt to limit the growing importance of the parallel market. However, by November 1997, the currency was traded at about 80 percent of its official value on the parallel market. At the end of the first quarter of 1998, the value of the local currency on the parallel market ranged between 470 000 Kzr and 490 000 Kzr to a dollar, against the official rate of 280 000 Kzr.
The country will have to mobilise its important oil and mining revenues for development purposes if it is to remove existing severe resource constraints in other economic sectors, particularly in agriculture on which the large majority of the population depend for their livelihood. Thousands of farmers are still displaced, agricultural land in strategic areas remains inaccessible due to land mines, production and marketing structures are destroyed. While the country was self-sufficient in most major food crops at the time of independence in 1975 and exported significant amounts of maize, rice, bananas, coffee, sisal, sugar and palm oil, it is now dependent on food imports, a substantial part of which is covered by food aid.
Despite the slow speed of the peace process initiated in late 1994 under the Lusaka Peace Protocol, Angolan and development partners hope that the country’s attention should now be focussed on recovery and socio-economic development. In this regard, a growing number of economic and trade missions from several countries including Brazil, France, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States are now visiting the country. UN agencies through several annual Inter-agency Appeals for Angola, bilateral donors and NGOs continue to provide emergency assistance in various ways including food and agricultural inputs. FAO has initiated emergency interventions, the provision of essential agricultural inputs (seeds and tools), the strengthening of MINADER for the coordination of emergency activities in the agricultural sector as well as the continuation of a pilot project in Huambo province to assist in bridging emergency to development through agricultural rehabilitation. An FAO-supported Food Security assistance project financed by the EU is assisting MINADER to strengthen its institutional capacity to monitor the food security situation at national and provincial levels. In addition to its current emergency-related interventions, WFP is implementing food security related programmes, including the rehabilitation of agriculture, social and basic infrastructure (roads, bridges, schools, health) and support to population resettlement.
Much of the success of on-going and planned activities will depend on the restoration of lasting peace and security in all parts of the country, investment in productive activities (including land-mine clearing) and the creation of an enabling environment for economic and agricultural development through policy changes.
This year the Mission visited 13 out of 18 provinces at the time of harvest of the main cereal crops. Such visits included similar transects to those driven last year, allowing the opportunity to (i) check on the ground remote sensed data; (ii) include farmers away from main towns as key informants; (iii) conduct spot-check measurements on the yield of the main cereals in various agro-ecological zones; (iv) observe at first hand the progress and difficulties experienced by petty traders opening up the links between the hinterland and the main towns.
This year, field reports from NGOs and international agencies were received through round-table discussions at provincial and municipality level and in the form of written reports. Such information reinforced reports obtained from provincial/municipal MINADER staff and the findings of the National Early Warning Unit (UNAR). The database remains, however, extremely fragile. NGO reports are limited to specific localities in which they function. MINADER has no data collecting staff in at least 30 percent of the provinces. In the remaining provinces, the data refer only to those areas controlled by the Government and the scope and accuracy of the data are hampered by the absence of transport, scales, measuring tapes, recording material, as well as delays in payment of salaries and years of inertia.
In consequence, Mission production estimates, derived by multiplying
area by yield have been calculated using area data from IOM-based forecasts
of farm family populations cultivating fields of sizes and cropping patterns
traditionally associated with peasant farms in each province. Yields estimates
were based on field inspections and MINADER/NGO 1998 forecasts.
During the period from August 1997 to April 1998, which includes the
main growing season in most areas, the overall pattern, as determined from
in-country records, farmer comments, agency reports and remote-sensed data
suggests better than average precipitation with a higher quantity and a
better distribution than last year. Early rains were sustained in most
parts of the North and Central Regions, allowing good crop establishment.
In such areas, the expected dry spells in December/January were short and
had no recorded impact on cereal production. The only regular adverse comments
received referred to beans, which were variously disturbed at establishment
by the dry spells or were affected later by heavy rains. However, in the
Southern region, a late start followed by intermittent dry spells necessitated
re-seeding, delayed crop establishment, shortened the season and reduced
yields in those areas where the rains stopped early. In the south-west
in particular yields are said to be lower than last year and areas of harvested
grain reduced due to the prolonged dry conditions.
Marketing opportunities have improved slightly since last year, as evinced by more trading activities along the drivable roads, yet the hinterlands of most provinces remain untapped and inaccessible, suggesting that where cereal surpluses might be produced they deteriorate until they become unmarketable, offering little incentive to expand efforts where secure production sites do exist.
Farmers’ carryover seeds of the preferred local maize varieties of Katete (north), SAM-3 and "white-round" (central) and Kapalandanda (central/south), account for the bulk of the production. MINADER/NGO-distributed seeds (supplied by donors and other agencies) remain important contributions for displaced and newly-settling farmers, where the provision of hand tools is also an essential pre-requisite for establishment, particularly as locally produced hoes were noted as less effective than imported tools for clearing forests and bush.
In consequence, the Mission estimates an increase of about 10 percent
in area cultivated to cereals and beans. Cassava area is noted to have
increased by 9 percent as its popularity as the food safety-net is increasing
in areas hitherto categorized as cereal growing. Similarly, sweet potato
area may also have increased but given prevailing conditions the area remains
Sorghum and millet yields reported to the Mission would appear to reflect a lack of field data and knowledge of the crops’ potential. Mission observations of plant density, seed set and grain fill as well as weighing of harvested heads (millet only) suggest yields several times the magnitude of those reported, which were in the order of 0.2 tonnes per hectare and completely out of line with maize forecasts from the same sites (sorghum only).
Soil fertility across the country is highly variable. On the one hand, areas left abandoned for decades now offer the opportunity for good harvests in line with the established traditional advantages of shifting cultivation. On the other hand, over-farmed areas around towns and villages are exhausted of nutrients.
Fertilizers were reportedly available in Huambo, Bie, Bengo, Kwanza Norte and Luanda. However, their use was constrained by a number of factors: (i) high prices; (ii) limited access to credit; (iii) timeliness of arrival; (iv) distribution mechanisms. In consequence, it appears that less than 2 000 tonnes were distributed and probably even less actually used. At reported application rates of 500 kg/hectare (Huambo and Bie) less than 4 000 hectares are likely to have been treated.
No outbreaks of migratory pest attacks were reported. Non-migratory pest problems were restricted to traditionally acceptable challenges from stalk borer (maize), caterpillars (maize, sorghum and vegetables) aphids and mites. Bird attacks on sorghum in southern provinces and rat problems with stored and in-field stocks were said to be more troublesome. Without control measures all pests are potentially serious. Presently, only peri-urban vegetable growers have any access to plant protection chemicals and equipment, which leaves the majority of growers extremely vulnerable.
Given the intention of agencies to move from emergency programmes to rehabilitation, free input supply is giving way to a variety of forms of credit. The situation is, however, far from clear. Depending on category, peasants are receiving from a variety of sources (i) free seeds; (ii) seeds on loan; (iii) seeds on interest-bearing credit; (iv) seeds from revolving funds/seed banks.
In some provinces, interest rates (bank) for fertilizer purchase were
said to be prohibitive. New practices involving trader intermediaries have
been introduced in Huambo, yet in neighbouring Bie; MINADER still supplies
and distributes fertilizers. Farmers do not seem to know the terms of credit
or indeed their responsibilities to repay. At the moment the quantities
are so small as to be insignificant, however, if input supplies were suddenly
to increase, there is no administrative structure in place to deal with
their distribution let alone provide an effective credit service.
The Mission did not visit Lunda Norte, Lunda Sul, Cabinda, Zaire and Namibe. However reports of the current situation were received from MINADER staff. The overall situation reflects the better rains and increasing confidence of the peasant farmers. The absentee large-scale landlords do not yet share such confidence; therefore production systems with the notable exception of animal traction in the south remain hand cultivation based and virtually input free except for localized seed distributions.
The Mission forecasts the 1998 cereal production at 594 000 tonnes of which some 85 percent will be maize and the remainder millet and sorghum. Estimates by province are given in Table 1.
|Region/Province||Area (ha)||Yield (kg/ha)||Prod. (tonnes)||Area (ha)||Yield (kg/ha)||Prod. (tonnes)||Area (ha)||Yield (kg/ha)||Prod. (tonnes)||Area (ha)||Prod. (tonnes)|
|Northern region||98 338||736||72 370||98338||72 370|
|Bengo||14 000||700||9 800||14 000||9 800|
|Cabinda||2 500||500||1 250||2 500||1 250|
|Kwanza Norte||16 738||800||13 390||16 738||13 390|
|Lunda Norte||11 000||600||6 600||11 000||6 600|
|Lunda Sul||9 000||600||5 400||9 000||5 400|
|Malange||26 400||800||21 120||26 400||21 120|
|Uige||13 000||800||10 400||13 000||10 400|
|Zaire||5 200||800||4 160||5 200||4 160|
|Central Region||507 000||753||381 600||42 000||640||26 900||2 000||600||1 200||551 000||409 700|
|Benguela||99 000||700||69 300||25 000||600||15 000||124 000||84 300|
|Bie||126 000||750||94 500||3 000||700||2 100||2 000||600||1 200||131 000||97 800|
|Huambo||200 000||750||150 000||13 000||700||9 100||213 000||159 100|
|Kwanza Sul||52 000||900||46 800||1 000||700||700||53 000||47 500|
|Moxico||30 000||700||21 000||30 000||21 000|
|Southern Region||77 000||649||50 692||55 000||482||26 500||79 000||435||34 350||211 000||111 542|
|Huila||60 000||700||42 000||32 000||500||16 000||21 000||550||11 550||113 000||69 550|
|Kuando Kubango||6 000||500||3 000||12 000||600||7 200||18 000||600||10 800||36 000||21 000|
|Cunene||11 000||200||2 200||10 000||300||3 000||39 000||300||11 700||60 000||16 900|
|Namibe||1 164*||3000||3 492||1 000||300||300||1 000||300||300||2 000||4 092|
|TOTAL||682 338||738||504 662||97 000||551||53 400||81 000||439||35 550||860 338||593 612|
The estimated production is 38 percent higher than last year’s poor rain affected harvest. The production of pulses, grown in association with cereals and other crops, has also increased despite reports of losses in some areas due to heavier than normal rains; such losses were more than compensated by increased planting and higher yields elsewhere.
Cassava production has also expanded due to increases in area planted and improved precipitation in all the main cassava growing areas. Table 2 includes cereals, beans and cassava production by Province. Even at 30 percent dry matter, annual cassava availability is probably approximately 10 times cereal production in the North region, 75 percent of cereal production in the Central region and one-tenth of cereal production in the South region. Sweet potatoes, sugar cane, bananas and Irish potatoes make up the remainder of the carbohydrate sources. All crops would seem to have benefited from this year's rains.
The production trends for cereals and cassava for 1990-1998 are shown in Charts 2 and 3.
|Area (ha)||Prod. (tonnes)||Area (ha)||Yield (kg/ha)||Prod. (tonnes)||Area (ha)||Yield (kg/ha)||Prod. (tonnes) 1/||crop area (ha)|
|Northern region||98 338||72 370||50 767||393||19 954||393 113||5674||2 230 569||542 218|
|Bengo||14 000||9 800||2 000||400||800||22 750||6500||147 875||38 750|
|Cabinda||2 500||1 250||2 300||300||690||5 000||6000||30 000||9 800|
|Kwanza Norte||16 738||13 390||5 500||300||1 650||33 340||6500||216 710||55 578|
|Luanda||500||250||1 000||600||600||2 000||4000||8 000||3 500|
|Lunda Norte||11 000||6 600||7 300||300||2 190||37 000||4000||148 000||55 300|
|Lunda Sul||9 000||5 400||2 800||300||840||39 000||4000||156 000||50 800|
|Malange||26 400||21 120||9 867||500||4 934||84 623||8000||676 984||120 890|
|Uige||13 000||10 400||15 000||450||6 750||135 000||5000||675 000||163 000|
|Zaire||5 200||4 160||5 000||300||1 500||34 400||5000||172 000||44 600|
|Central Region||551 000||409 700||146 754||420||61 642||169 000||5633||952 000||866 754|
|Benguela||124 000||84 300||15 000||300||4 500||10 000||4000||40 000||149 000|
|Bie||131 000||97 800||63 154||400||25 262||42 000||5000||210 000||236 154|
|Huambo||213 000||159 100||50 000||500||25 000||44 000||6000||264 000||307 000|
|Kwanza Sul||53 000||47 500||13 000||400||5 200||25 000||6000||150 000||91 000|
|Moxico||30 000||21 000||5 600||300||1 680||48 000||6000||288 000||83 600|
|Southern Region||212 164||111 542||15 500||265||4 100||14 000||2000||28 000||241 664|
|Huila||113 000||69 550||9 000||300||2 700||10 000||2000||20 000||132 000|
|Kuando Kubango||36 000||21 000||1 000||300||300||4 000||2000||8 000||41 000|
|Cunene||60 000||16 900||5 000||200||1 000||65 000|
|Namibe||3 164||4 092||500||200||100||3 664|
|TOTAL 1997/98||861 502||593 612||213 021||402||85 696||576 113||5573||3 210 569||1 650 636|
|TOTAL 1996/97||781 654||431 385||176 492||376||66 338||526 249||4 421||2 326 294||1 484 395|
|Change 1997/98 over 1996/97 (%)||+10||+38||+21||+7||+29||+9||+26||+38||+11|
Time series data for recent years’ cereal estimates are given in Table
|Total ha (‘000)||841||852||783||782||862|
In the South region, where the bulk of the ruminant population is now to be found reared under traditional transhumant systems, causes for concern were identified in Cunene and Namibe and reports of poor grazing conditions were received from south Kuando Kubango. To maintain stock numbers with adequate grazing security herds in over-stocked areas, pastoralists should negotiate access to the vast tracts of open grassland savannah and cattle ranches further north, which are presently bereft of stock of any description.
The collapse of the intensive livestock sector is almost complete. The intensive poultry industry has been reduced to around 500 000 layers. The commercial pig industry has no more than an estimated 5 000 head. Household pigs and poultry still exist but, with the collapse of associated support structures, are vulnerable to disease.
Newcastle disease of poultry, African swine fever, contagious bovine pleural pneumonia, clostridial diseases and anthrax were all reported as extant yet no services, equipment or materials exist to prevent or limit their effects. Understandably, there is no apparent interest to re-invest in livestock enterprises. NGO restocking campaigns at village level are on a very small scale and are vulnerable, particularly if inappropriate stock is introduced.
Overall, the livestock situation is rather bleak and the country is in need of urgent technical and material assistance to avoid further deterioration of the resource base which would seriously undermine the prospects of recovery and rehabilitation of the livestock sector.
The nine provinces are characterized by root, tuber and perennial cash crop production. The area under cassava is ten times greater than the area under cereals. Rainfall ranges from 800 mm per annum in the western coastal areas to 1 600 mm in the eastern zones.
With soil types and altitude ranging from coastal and riverine alluvial basins to ferralitic highland plains in the east, a wide variety of agro-ecological zones exist with concomitant production variations. The dominant staple, cassava, also provides long-term food security as it is harvested when required in daily aliquots. It is reinforced with bananas and sweet potatoes according to preference and availability. In the northern zones, most maize is eaten on the cob. Its consumption as grain becomes increasingly important moving southwards. Katete, a variety originally from Bengo, is preferred being of a shorter cycle than most local varieties and ideally suited as a late or "second" season crop planted in January, February and March.
Bengo: With last year’s estimated population of 29 000 farm-families augmented by some 14 000 persons who returned in early 1997, the agricultural area is expected to have increased with an associated increase in maize and bean production. Poor, late rains on the littoral do not seem to have affected earlier planted maize and good rains in the escarpment and hinterland suggest few problems. Family farm sizes, dictated by hand cultivation in high rainfall conditions, are likely to be around 1 hectare with further areas of coffee, bananas and other fruit trees available to established households. The peace process has opened up areas for development. In particular a revitalizing of coffee and oil palm plantations with EU funds was noted and the Mission visited a pilot commercial unit for future large-scale maize and melon production. However, roadblocks and military traffic attitude were mentioned as disincentives to traders.
This year maize yields were said to be higher than last year. No significant pests or diseases were noted. Seeds distributed to returnees came late. However, as the season is longer inland, the delay was not thought to be critical. No fertilizers or chemical inputs are available to the small and subsistence farmers; commercial farmers obtain their stocks from Luanda.
Cabinda: The Mission did not visit Cabinda and no reliable information was obtained from this previously productive province. Remote sensing data suggests better vegetation than last year and, therefore, last year’s data have been included in this year’s analysis although higher yields are probable.
Kwanza Norte: With an estimated population of 48 000 farm families hand cultivating more than last year due to better security and good rainfall, areas under cassava, beans and maize are expected to increase. Although the rains were late in the municipalities visited by the Mission, they were said to be much better than last year, with concomitant increases in crop yields, except for beans, which were reportedly affected by heavy rains in December. Crop pests, while noted as not significant, included leaf-eating caterpillars (Spodoptera spp) and localized mealy bug infestations. Limited amounts of fertilizer were supplied to traders but access to credit was noted as a constraint on expansion.
Indicating increased availability, maize prices have dropped from 500 000 Kzr to 150 000 Kzr per kg or less in the main markets.
Luanda: Reports from MINADER-Luanda suggest only 500 hectares of maize has been cultivated and fail to identify more than 300 hectares of cassava. Field trips suggest greater areas of maize have been planted along the green belt but successful cropping will depend on subsequent rainfall and mists.
Lunda Norte: The mission did not visit Lunda Norte. However, vegetation indices from remote-sensed data suggest an average or better than average production year with yields per hectare better than last year’s poor performance. The province is mainly cassava consuming with the relatively little maize grown for consumption mostly on the cob.
Lunda Sul: The mission did not visit Lunda Sul this year. Information from municipalities with Government access suggest that a shortage of inputs and support services are the greatest constraints, combined with insecurity which is hampering the speedy return of farm families to traditional agricultural areas. Rainfall this year was not cited as a problem suggesting average or greater than average production.
Malange: With an estimated agricultural active population of 122 000 farm-families, total cropped area is estimated around 120 000 hectares, of which 75 percent is cassava. Rainfall started early and was regular and heavy later in the year, when it reportedly reduced bean yields and immediate access to low-lying areas for late cropping. All crop prices were said to have decreased (with even beans at 50 000 Kzr per kg) as a greater outflow of products especially cassava, from UNITA held areas is evidently increasing market supply.
No significant pest and disease outbreaks were reported, so all yields were expected to be higher than last year. No fertilizers have been distributed or accessible to farmers since 1992. However, several NGOs have distributed seeds including partially successful attempts at establishing revolving funds and seed banks.
Uige: The region has an estimated agriculturally active population of 120 000 farm families. Although it has a history of perennial cash crop production, Uige is a cassava-based province with an average farm size of around 3 hectares. Cassava, coffee and fruit trees account for most of the area cultivated. Maize and beans are grown in association. This year the rains followed the expected pattern, though heavier than usual. Yields were reported to be higher than last year. No significant pests or disease outbreaks were recorded. No fertilizers were distributed during the maize season due to late delivery. Late delivery also affected maize and bean seed distribution.
Despite increased production, market prices were reported to be rising due to increased trade activity and the movement of products to other provinces.
Zaire: The mission did not visit Zaire. Reports received from
MINADER referring to the coastal areas suggest a higher production of the
main crops due to better rains. Cassava is the main crop. Maize is grown
in association with beans on a minor scale.
The situation regarding most other factors remains essentially the same as last year. Shortages of inputs and credit were reported to be the main disincentives to expansion at peasant level. Insecurity would seem to be preventing investment in most inland areas where vast tracts of arable land remain unfarmed. Cassava areas would appear to be expanding and its output (dry matter content) is estimated this year to be 75 percent of maize production. The value of the crop as a food safety net is probably the reason for its expansion, particularly in areas where marketing surplus maize is difficult.
Benguela: With an estimated farming population of around 200 000 families, the area cultivated has been derived to include peri-urban farmers as well as those established in agricultural villages. It may well be underestimated at 149 000 hectares of cereals, beans and cassava.
Given the best rains in 20 years, production of cereals is expected to be much better than last year, although beans were reported to have been adversely affected by heavy rains. The dry spell experienced in late November-early December does not appear to have reduced yield according to local informants. Seed distribution was conducted by NGOs, maize, sorghum and beans being provided to returnees, displaced groups and settled farmers without access to seeds. No significant plant pest and diseases were noted. Although no information was available regarding other inputs, it was thought that plant protection chemicals and fertilizers were available in Lobito, but were used solely by commercial horticultural producers. Widespread banditry was said to be affecting the confidence of developers. Resettlement was also being delayed due to continuous insecurity in areas that could be agriculturally productive.
Bie: With an estimated agriculturally active population of 134 000 farm families, Bie province lies in a transition zone between the wetter cassava growing north and the drier cereal growing south. This year the rains were good, probably the "best in 9 years". There was an identifiable dry spell in November-December (15 days), but it was not said to influence yields. Good crops were noted in settled communities. Sweet potatoes were reported to have been particularly successful this year. With increased stability, peasant farms in re-settled villages have expanded. However, in such situations the expansion is limited to family hand cultivating capabilities. Very few farmers use animal traction and even fewer have access to tractors.
Fertilizer (12:24:12 and ammonium sulphate) distribution leapt from 150 tonnes last year to 600 tonnes this year. Distribution was carried out by MINADER. Maize prices in the market appeared to be firm, despite better production, a phenomenon explained by traders/farmers in Kuito, as being due to their keeping maize for their own consumption and selling sweet potatoes. Stalk borer of maize was the only pest noted but its level of challenge was said to be within the usual range of tolerance. In a well-established village visited, stocks were reported to be kept pest-free using tobacco leaves.
Huambo: With an estimated agriculturally active population of 205 000 farm families, the total cropped area may be higher than 400 000 hectares, given that recent studies (FAO, MINADER) suggest that the average size farmed is around 2 to 2.5 hectares. However, the long transects driven during the Mission indicate that only a small portion of the "accessible" arable land is farmed. Rainfall this year was apparently the best in 25 years. Cereal yields are reported to be much higher than last year in all areas except the UNITA controlled municipalities of Bailundo and Mungo where they are reportedly very low. All farmers visited confirmed the satisfactory state including a virtually pest and disease free year.
MINADER distributed 1 200 tonnes of fertilizers by using trader conduits. The fertilizer had been requested for last year’s harvest but arrived far too late so was available "on time" to meet this year’s requests.
An active MINADER office is presently trying hard to improve the provincial data collection procedures. At the same time, cereal trials and seed multiplication plots for the preferred varieties in the area (SAM 3 and "white round") have been resurrected under MINADER at the Changa Agricultural Research Institute. As a result of the good harvest, maize prices were said to be at 50 000 Kzr per kg and still falling.
Kwanza Sul: With an estimated agriculturally active population of 135 000 farm-families established in a broad range of agro-ecological zones, Kwanza Sul produces a wide variety of products.
This year’s good rains have offered the opportunity for extensive maize cropping on the loamy clay soils of the coastal areas. Last year, similar ventures were a total failure, this year the mission observed very well grown maize capable of yielding 3-4 tonnes per hectare in precisely the same locations where last year’s crops had failed. Such enterprises were the only examples of mechanized entrepreneurial cereal growing units noted in the country. Similarly, the peasant fields of the interior were also more productive than last year reflecting the better rains.
Coffee and banana plantations were well-weeded and trading was said to have increased in all commodities. In Gabela, prices were rising in the market as traders were dealing directly with farmers and taking the produce to Luanda.
Although fertilizer was said to be available from private suppliers, apparently farmers were not buying because the prices were too high and credit was not available.
Stalk borer and "black caterpillars"(Spodoptera spp.) were mentioned as pests but not on any significant scale. In common with other provinces no plant protection chemicals or equipment were reported to be available. In this regard, local varieties of maize including "katete"; ‘Dente Kaval’; and SAM 3 were preferred to imported/distributed seeds because of their keeping quality.
Moxico: With an estimated agriculturally active population of 40 000 farm families, Moxico though mainly a cassava growing province also usually produces reasonable quantities of maize. This year’s rain came later than expected but once it began, it was regular and heavy except for the expected dry spell in late November-early December. Large areas of the province still remain outside Mission access, and although UNITA agricultural officers provided good information from their long treks on foot in Alto-Zambeze municipality, no information was available for at least 65 percent of the province.
Good maize and cassava yields were noted by the Mission in all villages
visited. Areas were also expanding, within hand cultivation limits, both
around Luena and elsewhere as farmers were feeling more confident in their
situation. Apart from storage pests of maize, mealy bug was again reported
as a cause for concern. Other pests such as crickets and stalk borers,
though present, were not above normal level of tolerance. No inputs other
than NGO provided seeds were said to be available.
Huila: With an estimated agriculturally active population of 100 000 farm-families, Huila is usually the most productive province in the southern zones. Huila’s rainfall pattern was normal to heavy in most areas, starting on time in September and continuing throughout the season. NGO reports indicate that a significant proportion of the population received seeds, which were necessary because of a poor harvest last year.
No significant pest and disease problems were noted. Millet and sorghum were said to be ‘good’. Maize crops observed by the mission were likely to produce much more than last year.
Despite the presence of vast tracts of unused arable land in the province, peasant farmers in two municipalities complained of lack of access to land due presumably to existing ownership by absentee landlords.
Kuando Kubango: With an estimated agriculturally active population of 87 000 farm-families this large province is the least densely populated area in the country. Farming activities are concentrated in the north and north-west where the rains are more reliable. Unfortunately information from Kushi, the most productive municipality was not available, although MINADER line-agents work there. Mission visits in the north/north east and discussions with MINADER and NGOs in Menongue, confirm that the rainfall this year was not as good as last year. The start of the season was late, intermittent dry spells necessitated reseeding of millet on several occasions in some localities. However, despite these problems, millet crops looked good and on close inspection were seen to be producing from 0.6 to 0.9 tonnes per hectare on the representative fields sampled. The only pests noted were crickets, which were not said to have been severe. No fertilizers or plant protection chemicals were distributed or were noted as available.
Although animal traction was expected in a province traditionally with a relatively high livestock population, all farmers interviewed were hand cultivating. Areas under cultivation were increasing as new extensions into the bush were occurring each year. In this regard tools, particularly those capable of cleaning 20 year old forests, are definitely a priority for the re-establishment of village self-sufficiency.
Cunene: Situated in the dry corner of Angola, the province is one of the driest in the country. It relies more on livestock than crop production. Late rains and prolonged dry spells during the 1996/97 crop year caused poor crop establishment, low levels of seed set and poor grainfill for sorghum and millet. As a result, crop production is expected to be low. Concern was also expressed with regard to forage resources in the areas under government control, due to heavy stocking in the area. Ways of reducing the stocking rate for the coming dry season through the usual transhumance or through establishing temporary grazing rights for pastoralists elsewhere in the region where grazing is plentiful, should be investigated.
Namibe: The Mission met representatives from Namibe in Cunene, but did not visit the province. Production seems to have been affected by the same constraints as those affecting Cunene.
The slow progress of the peace process and the recent deterioration of security with frequent reports of banditry, as well as poor conditions of roads and other rural infrastructure, constitute major constraints to marketing activities and household access to food and other basic necessities. In the central and northern regions despite the surpluses expected this year, only small amounts can be purchased for supply to deficit areas. This will depress prices and act as a disincentive for next year’s production. Already, maize prices as low as 50 000 Kzr/kg were reported in late April in some rural districts compared to 150 000 to 250 000 Kzr/kg or even more in the nearby urban markets.
The increased availability of cassava in the northern and central areas
is expected to improve the food security of many farm families in these
areas who will continue to have access to cassava, particularly during
the lean period. Although eaten in fresh form, cassava is traded as dried
pieces/powder. However, current security-related restrictions on movement
and trade are likely to limit marketing activities and the substitution
effect expected from this year’s higher cassava production in northern
and central regions. Vulnerable people with little or no access to land
may also not benefit from the increased local food availability unless
donor support for purchases is provided. Given the availability of other
minor carbohydrate sources (bananas, sweet potatoes), per caput intake
of carbohydrates may be around 2000 kcals per day with maize and cassava
supplying 70 percent. As cassava is not generally imported, the food deficit
has to be met by cereal imports.
The Mission forecast of the cereal supply/demand position for the 1998/99
marketing year (April/March) is summarized in Table 4 below.
|Total utilization||1 064|
|Seed, losses and other uses||100|
|Anticipated commercial imports||350|
|Food aid, of which: - Relief food aid1/||120 90|
|- Programme food aid||30|
Discussions with Government officials indicated that food grain stocks held by either central or local governments are negligible. Contacts with farmers, private traders and millers did not provide evidence of the existence of significant stocks of cereals.
Cereal losses have been estimated at 15 percent of production (89 000 tonnes). Seed use has been computed using average seeding rates plus a small allowance for re-seeding. Anticipating the sowing of 700 000 hectares of maize, 100 000 hectares each of sorghum and millet, about 10 000 tonnes of seed will be required for the next planting season. Animal feed use has been computed using newly available MINADER figures. Presently, the poultry number is estimated at 500 000 layers and pigs at 5 000, and these together account for the bulk of animal feed use. Overall feed use is estimated at 40 000 tonnes of cereals, most of which will be maize.
Comparing the total cereal utilization estimated at 1 064 000 tonnes
and total availability of 594 000 tonnes, there is a gap of 470 000 tonnes
which has to be met by imports. This will be some 12 percent below the
volume estimated for 1997/98. Data available from Ministries of Commerce
and industry, and discussions with a number of traders indicated that,
as in the past two years, commercial import of cereals should be about
350 000 tonnes. Food aid requirement for 1998/99 is estimated at 120 000
tonnes, including 90 000 tonnes of relief food aid. Rice and wheat will
constitute the bulk of imports, as their local production is negligible.
Donor support for local purchases of maize will be required for distribution
to vulnerable population groups.
Despite the good climatic conditions of this year and subsequent production increases, a large proportion of the population still remains food insecure. The factors influencing food insecurity vary by population group and geographical location. However, they can generally be characterized by: a lack of access to agricultural land and inputs, or to other means of production; limited access to any surplus or marketed production, due to a combination of poor infrastructure and very poor marketing systems; and a general lack of purchasing power.
The total number of people to be provided with humanitarian food assistance, as assessed by the mission, represents a reduction of approximately 25 percent over the 1997 mission estimates. The most important factors influencing this decrease have been the successful resettlement of around 60-80,000 people during 1997/98, primarily in Bengo, Kwanza Sul and Kwanza Norte, and the in accessible and secure areas of Kuando Kubango, Bie, and Moxico provinces. This year’s good rainfall and better harvest conditions, specifically in the coastal areas, and in Huila, Namibe, and southern Benguela provinces has also contributed to this decrease.
However, the slow pace of normalization of rural administration, delays in the national reconciliation process, and deteriorating security conditions, continue to limit the activities of humanitarian agencies and discourage the majority of the displaced and refugees from returning to their areas of origin. At the time of the mission - just before the main harvest - people have been fleeing from their villages and abandoning their fields due to the deterioration in the security situation.
This poor security situation has not only resulted in a postponement of the plans for the return of the majority of the internally displaced and refugees, but also in new population displacements. Furthermore, a number of people who could not return to their areas of origin were temporarily resettled in intermediate locations: these populations are generally unable to attain a satisfactory degree of food security, principally due to a combination of a lack of available land and poor soil fertility in the areas of transitory resettlement.
Rehabilitation programmes, for both the social and basic infrastructures, have also been seriously curtailed by the poor security conditions, especially in those areas where the vast majority of the population is due to resettle.
Table 5 summarizes the mission’s estimate of the number of beneficiaries
by category. The total number of beneficiaries is estimated at 752 000
persons, excluding the demobilization of Government soldiers [ Should the
demobilisation of troops of the Forças Armadas Angolanas become
a reality in the period of this special report, i.e. before end March 1999,
an additional quantity of food aid may be required. However no firm indications
of numbers or timing were available to the mission.] . It should however
be noted that that food aid needs for the 1998-99 period could prove to
be greater than that outlined by the mission, if resettlement and associated
rehabilitation activities progress more rapidly than is currently anticipated.
|Province||IDPs and Refugees||Resettlement||Reintegration||Rehabilitation||Vulnerable groups||Total|
|Bengo||13 000||9 000||500||10 000||2 000||34 500|
|Benguela||78 500||29 000||1 000||17 500||20 000||146 000|
|Bie||9 000||4 000||5 500||17 500||7 500||43 500|
|Cunene||0||1 000||0||2 500||4 000||7 500|
|Huambo||0||6 000||4 000||15 000||15 000||40 000|
|Huila||17 500||10 000||1 500||15 000||18 500||62 500|
|Kuando K.||0||18 500||7 000||10 000||6 000||41 500|
|Kwanza N.||0||0||500||57 500||2 000||60 000|
|Kwanza S.||0||0||500||2 500||500||3 500|
|Luanda.||6 500||0||1 000||5 000||7 000||19 500|
|Lunda N.||9 500||5 000||1 000||0||2 000||17 500|
|Lunda S||0||25 000||0||2 500||6 500||34 000|
|Malange||500||25 500||0||20 000||4 000||50 000|
|Moxico||30 000||50 500||1 500||10 000||3 000||95 000|
|Namibe||1 500||1 000||0||2 500||2 500||7 500|
|Uige||12 500||12 000||2 500||27 500||14 500||69 000|
|Zaire||0||12 500||1 000||5 000||2 000||20 500|
|Total||178 500||209 000||27 500||220 000||117 000||752 000|
|IDPs and refugees||21 877||2 713||1 607||321||26 518|
|Resettlement||25 055||3 010||1 881||376||30 322|
|Reintegration||3 297||396||248||50||3 990|
|Rehabilitation||31 680||3 168||1 980||396||37 224|
|Vulnerable groups||9 087||1 639||1 053||5 040||587||205||17 611|
|90 996||10 926||6 768||5 040||587||1 348||115 665|
With food aid carryover stocks and pledges on 31 March 1998 from WFP and NGOs of 78 117 tonnes of maize, 9 624 of pulses, 7 492 of vegetable oil and 3 333 of blended foods, an emergency gap of 12 879 tonnes of maize, 1 302 of pulses and 1 707 tonnes of blended food is to be resourced for 1998.
WFP programming and response capacity is expected to remain at the current
level. Furthermore, given indications that several bilateral food aid assistance
programmes for Angola are terminating or winding down, with a substantial
shift towards multilateral food aid, WFP’s share of relief assistance can
be expected to increase.
Deliveries by road are currently made to over 200 destinations, originating both from the three ports, and to and from the 11 WFP sub-offices located around the country. Road transport is particularly difficult to organize as the Angolan transport market consists of a large number of small operators, with generally no more than two or three trucks. Road conditions continue to deteriorate as there has been little or no road repair or maintenance, with the exception of some rehabilitation of bridges, since the end of hostilities. The heavy rains of early 1998 have had a negative impact on road conditions in most areas of the country.
Security is still a significant problem, and transport has to be organized in WFP convoys to several destinations. The threat of mines continues to be a problem. Most of the rail network was destroyed during the hostilities, and has still not been repaired.
Approximately 20 percent of cargo is moved by air to around 15 destinations in the hard to access northern, eastern and south-eastern parts of the country. Most of the airstrips in these locations are in poor condition, limiting access to Hercules aircraft, which are operated under short-term contracts. Where airstrips allow, WFP uses Boeing 727 aircraft, which are chartered on an ad hoc basis.
The current internal transport, storage and handling costs for the WFP
PRO (Protracted Relief Operation) is approved at an average of US$219 per
|This report is prepared on the responsibility of the FAO and WFP Secretariats with information from official and unofficial sources. Since conditions may change rapidly, please contact the undersigned for further information if required.|
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