FAO GLOBAL INFORMATION AND EARLY WARNING SYSTEM ON FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME

SPECIAL REPORT:
FAO/WFP CROP AND FOOD SUPPLY ASSESSMENT MISSION TO ANGOLA

15 June 1999
----

----

MISSION HIGHLIGHTS

  • Renewed hostilities result in displacement of some 1 million people, increasing the total number to 1.7 million; further displacement is likely in the coming months.

  • 1998/99 cereal output down by 11 percent from the previous year, despite generally favourable weather conditions, reflecting the impact of increased insecurity and population displacement.

  • The cereal import requirement for 1999/2000 is estimated at 505 000 tonnes, compared to the actual imports of 420 000 tonnes in the previous marketing year.

  • International emergency food assistance, estimated at 180 000 tonnes of maize will be needed in the marketing year 1999/2000 (May/April). Of this 56 000 tonnes have already been pledged, leaving an uncovered deficit of 124 000 tonnes.

  • Food distribution by surface transport is being hampered by the conflict, making costly air transport the only alternative. Urgent additional logistical support is needed to accelerate the distribution of humanitarian assistance.
-------

1. OVERVIEW

Following the collapse of the peace process and renewed warfare in late 1998, the number of displaced rural people has increased significantly, amounting to some 1.7 million in May 1999. As the eruption of hostilities occurred at the beginning of the cropping season, there has been growing concern that food production would be seriously reduced, and that the country might need large-scale international food assistance.

Against this background, an FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission was fielded to Angola from 11-22 May 1999 to assess the impact of the displacement of farm families on foodcrop production for the 1998/99 agricultural year, estimate the national cereal import requirement for the 1999/2000 marketing year (April/March) and review the food aid needs of the affected people. The Mission was joined by observers from the European Union (EU), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID-FEWS), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC-REWU) and Save the Children Fund (SCF/UK). This year, preparatory assistance for the Mission was provided by the FAO-supported Early Warning project which assists the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER) as well as the Vulnerability Assessment and Mapping (VAM) Unit of the WFP Office in Angola. A pre-evaluation of the situation had been undertaken based on field visits to some provinces and the gathering of reports from the provincial offices of MINADER. This information, particularly data on the farming population and areas planted, provided an important input for the Mission's assessment and findings.

Upon arrival, the Mission held discussions in Luanda with the MINADER, the Ministry of Social Assistance and Reintegration (MINARS), the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, UN Agencies and donor and NGO representations. Subsequently, the Mission divided itself into two teams, with Team A visiting five northern provinces (Luanda, Bengo, Uige, Kwanza Norte, Lunda Sul) and Team B three central and southern provinces. MINADER was represented on both teams, by Headquarters staff. Due to the deteriorating security situation and escalation of attacks on road users, only limited travel by road was possible, Thus, the Mission travelled by air to the provincial capitals where they met with the Provincial Governor, local staff of MINADER, MINARS and NGOs. Discussions at these meetings supplemented the background material already collected and were very valuable for assessing the food supply position at the provincial level. Field visits were undertaken to the extent possible, but in most cases they were limited to the immediate surroundings of the provincial capital due to the security situation. Interviews were held with farmers and traders and field inspections and crop cutting for yield measurement were undertaken. Information on inaccessible areas, including the provinces which were not visited, was mainly from the reports prepared by the MINADER Early Warning Project.

Because of the constraints on field travel this year, the Mission made intensive use of satellite images for rainfall estimation. Meteosat satellite cold cloud duration (CCD) and rainfall estimation (RFE) images were provided by the SADC Remote Sensing Unit and the USAID/FEWS based in Harare. In general, average to above-average rainfall was received in the country and the season was judged by farmers and provincial officials interviewed as better than last year's or at least as good. However, in the central areas the distribution of the rains was irregular. The southern provinces had one of the best rainfall seasons in 20 years, while in the northern provinces rainfall was well-distributed in space and time.

Due to scarce and incomplete agricultural statistics the area planted to the various crops was difficult to estimate. As in past years, the Mission calculated the area under crops on the basis of farm households estimated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). This year, however, that calculation was supplemented by FAO and UNICEF household surveys and UNDP and Ministry of Works estimates of farming families per province. The figures were cross-checked with local authorities during the field visit.

The supply of seeds is estimated to have been adequate following the good harvest of 1998/99, and there were no significant pest infestations. The major factor, therefore, which militated against increased food production this year was the displacement of a significant proportion of farm households.

The Mission forecasts the 1998/99 cereal production at 533 000 tonnes (maize 428 000 tonnes, millet/sorghum 102 000 tonnes and 3 000 tonnes of rice), which is 11 percent below last year's, mainly reflecting the impact of renewed displacement of rural people. Production of cassava, an important staple, is estimated to have declined slightly from last year, while bean production declined by an estimated 21 percent.

For the 1999/2000 marketing year, domestic cereal supply, estimated at 562 000 tonnes (implying an opening stock of 29 000 tonnes), falls seriously short of national consumption requirements. With a mid-marketing year population estimated at 13.4 million, cereal import requirement for 1999/2000 marketing year is estimated at 505 000 tonnes, which compares with actual cereal imports of 420 000 tonnes during the previous marketing year. Of the estimated cereal import requirement, the Mission estimates that 325 000 tonnes will be imported commercially, leaving 180 000 tonnes to be covered by food aid.

In addition, there is need to allocate land for cultivation by IDPs and the provision of the necessary agricultural inputs for the next season starting in October.

-------

2. ECONOMY AND AGRICULTURE 1/

1/The contents of this section are based on a variety of sources, including: Angola - Economic Developments in 1998 (UNDP); Human Development Report -Angola 1998; Country Profile-Angola 1998-99 I and Country Report-Angola Quarter 1999 (The Economist Intelligence Unit); Angola - Agricultural Recovery and Development Options Review Dec. 1996 (MINADER/FAO)

Potentially one of Africa's richest countries, Angola remains one of the poorest due to the protracted civil war that began after independence in 1975, and continues unabated up to now. It was ranked 156 in the UNDP 1998 Human Development Index, with 60 percent of the population living below the poverty line. The country has large reserves of oil, diamonds and other minerals, an enormous hydroelectric potential and plentiful agricultural, forestry and fisheries resources.

While before independence the real GDP growth rate averaged 7.8 percent per year (1960-1974), official estimates indicate a decline of 2.5 percent per year from 1990 to 1995. The discovery of huge offshore oil reserves has stimulated economic growth in recent years, but this disguises the poor performance of individual sectors. The contribution of mining, dominated by oil, and diamonds to GDP increased from 25 percent in 1981 to over 50 percent in 1997; by contrast, the contribution of the manufacturing sector declined from 16 percent in 1973, to 4.4 percent in 1997. The oil sector accounts for 90 percent of total exports and 75 percent of Government revenue.

The peace process that began in late 1994 under the Lusaka Peace Protocol, and had shown signs of improvement in security with access to most parts of the country, collapsed in the second half of 1998. By December the situation had deteriorated to such an extent that a full-scale civil war re-erupted, particularly in central highlands.

The economic situation also deteriorated sharply in 1998, mainly due to the slump in oil prices, which by December 1998 were at half their levels at the same time the previous year. Despite the steady increase in oil production, the Government had to cut its budget by one-quarter. The expected agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which, inter alia, would help Angola to manage its external debt of US$12 billion, did not materialize because of the renewed internal conflict. Similarly, the implementation of the Government's Recovery and Stabilization Programme 1998-2000 was halted. Inflation that had declined from a peak of 3 780 percent in 1995 to 64 percent in 1997 surged to reach an annual rate of 135 percent by December 1998. The progressive depreciation of the national currency, the Kwanza, has exerted upward pressure on domestic prices.

The agricultural sector has been the hardest hit by the conflict. The country, once self-sufficient in basic foods, now depends to a large extent on food aid. Production of coffee, for which the country was an exporter, and other crops like sisal, cotton, sugar, bananas, oil palms and tobacco has plummeted in over 20 years of war. Despite plentiful land, farmers have been reduced to subsistence producers. Following massive looting of livestock, the use of draft animals is limited, while mechanization and use of purchased agricultural inputs is restricted to few commercial farms. Market fragmentation due to inaccessibility of large areas of the country has also constrained area expansion for agricultural production.

-------

3. FOOD PRODUCTION IN 1998/99

3.1 Impact of the conflict on agricultural production

Large-scale movements of the rural population looking for safety resulted in an estimated 1.7 million displaced people (IDPs) by May 1999. Displacements have first been from rural areas to municipalities and later on to provincial capitals. Hostilities have been experienced in virtually all provinces but the areas worst affected have been the main maize growing central provinces. Persistent insecurity has also resulted in the closure of most roads.

Besides the difficult situation of IDPs, few of whom will have any harvest this season, overall agricultural and economic activities have been severely disrupted by the conflict. The escalation of violence and most of the displacement occurred in December, when planting operations had been completed or were well advanced. Therefore, in fields that were not looted, crops will be harvested either by other settled farmers or by those IDPs who have access to their land (fields around 2 to 5 km from towns). However, in the northern provinces where maize is planted in February, there were reductions in the area planted because of the population displacements.

Although overall planting reductions were not dramatic, significantly reduced yields are anticipated in many areas due to abandonment of fields. Even for settled farmers yields were reduced in areas where fighting has been intense. In particular, in the provinces of Bie, northern Huambo, Malange, eastern Kuanza Sul, north-eastern Moxico and northern Huila, constant population movements prevented normal agricultural activities. Looting of crops before reaching maturity has also added to the reduction in production.

The conflict has also resulted in the closure of most roads, seriously constraining the movement of people and goods. This will prevent surpluses in some provinces from reaching the deficit areas. It is also affecting the movement of imported goods from the three main coastal ports to the interior. The situation is of particular concern in the provincial capitals and municipalities with large numbers of IDPs but which have become isolated. Food security in these urban areas is expected to deteriorate in the coming months. In the rural areas, while food is available, farmers are experiencing difficulties in marketing their crops.

Only in the south-western parts where the security situation is relatively stable, is a good harvest in prospect; trade with bordering Namibia goes on with little hinderance and production and the food security situation are reported to be satisfactory.

3.2 Rainfall

The rainfall pattern in Angola increases from south to north. Rains normally start in September /October, are interrupted by a short dry period during December/January and continue until May. The long rainy season in Angola offers immense potential for crop diversity.

Above-average rain fell across most of the country during the 1998/99 growing season. Meteostat satellite images suggest above normal rainfall throughout the country. This was confirmed by ground observations and the farmers interviewed. However, pockets of prolonged dry spells during November- January were reported by several sources in different locations in the central parts. MINADER in Benguela Province reported an extended dry spell during December-January which significantly affected yields of maize and beans crops. Due to late rains in some parts of Huila province, farmers could not plant maize until February, and excessive rains in Huambo Province during March caused waterlogging and negatively affected maize yield.

3.3 Supply of Agricultural Inputs

Seed were available this year following the good harvest of 1997/98 and were distributed by the Government, international organizations and NGOs. Fertilizers and pesticides were, however, in short supply and when available their prices were at levels not affordable by most farmers.

For the new IDPs who have been allocated land, scarcity and high prices of agricultural inputs were reported as major constraints to production. Many NGOs were involved in providing small farmers with seed and agricultural hand tools. However, the inputs were considered inadequate in terms of quantity and quality by the majority of farmers and officials interviewed.

3.4 Area planted

Maize is the major cereal crop grown and normally accounts for over 80 percent of total cereal production in Angola. Millet and sorghum are grown in the southern region where rainfall is less compared to the rest of the country. Family labour remains the crucial factor limiting expansion of the area planted as land preparation, weeding and harvesting are generally carried out using simple hand tools. Only in the south-west (mainly Huila province) is animal traction used for land preparation. Tractors are used by commercial farmers who are few in number. Marketing difficulties in the interior due to insecurity have also restricted area under crops.

Of the total area planted to staple foodcrops this season, 51 percent is estimated to have been under cereals. Maize accounts for 78 percent of the area under cereals, the bulk of which is located in the central region (see Tables 1 and 2).

The area under cereals remained around last year's level but there are marked differences among regions. In the northern region the area under maize was down by 9 percent compared with last year, reflecting the population displacements before the planting period. By contrast, in the southern region, affected by drought last year, the good rains of this season, coupled with a stable security situation, resulted in a significant increase in plantings. In the central region the area planted with cereals increased by 5 percent over last year.

The total area under cassava and beans declined from last year by 10 and 11 percent respectively, but this may be partially due to improved reporting this year.

3.5 Yields

Despite the generally good rains during the 1998/99 growing season, constant population movements in areas affected by intense fighting hindered crop husbandry, reducing crop yields. In addition, irregular distribution of the rains in parts, mainly in central areas, lowered yield potential (see 3.2). A dry spell in October/November in Lunda Sul, also resulted in lower yields of maize and beans.

No serious incidence of plant pests and diseases was reported or observed in the areas visited by the Mission. Pesticide use is limited to vegetable crops. Although fertilizers were available in some provinces like Benguela, they were reported to be too expensive for farmers. However, some displaced farmers in the coastal zone of Benguela were assisted by local NGOs with fertilizers for their irrigated farms.

Stands of cereal crops in the field and yield measurement exercises carried out by the Mission indicated higher yields for maize, sorghum and millet than those reported by MINADER, particularly in Huila province. It was not clear how representative these areas were in their respective provinces due to inaccessibility of all growing areas. Neither the Government nor the NGOs operating agricultural programmes made efforts to estimate yields of crops. It is therefore essential that MINADER, in collaboration with the relevant UN agencies and NGOs, seriously undertake surveys to estimate yields of foodcrops in the municipalities where they operate. Such a task should be performed as a preparatory activity ahead of future Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions.

3.6 Production forecast

The Mission forecasts the 1999 cereal production at about 530 000 tonnes, some 11 percent below last year. Maize, which represents 80 percent of the national cereal production this year, and is produced mainly in the central region, is some 15 percent below last year's level. By contrast, sorghum and millet, the bulk of which is produced in the southern region, increased by 12 percent to nearly 102 000 tonnes, partly because insecurity in central areas has resulted in a shift from maize to crops that are relatively safer from looting.

Output of cassava, 70 percent of which is produced in northern areas, is forecast 2 percent below last year's level at 3 million tonnes. Beans production is estimated 21 percent lower than in 1998/99.

Estimates of area planted and production of major crops by province and some comparisons to previous years are shown in Tables 1-4.

Table 1: Angola - Area and production of main cereal crops, 1999

Region/Province
 
Maize
Millet/Sorghum
Total
Area (ha)
Yield (kg/ha)
Prod. (tonnes)
Area (ha)
Yield
(kg/ha)
Prod. (tonnes)
Area (ha)
Prod. (tonnes)
Northern region
79 463
 
59 070
-
-
-
79 463
59 070
Cabinda
2 652
700
1 857
-
-
-
2 652
1 857
Zaire
6 149
850
5 227
-
-
-
6 149
5 227
Uige
16 219
850
13 786
-
-
-
16 219
13 786
Bengo
9 176
900
8 258
-
-
-
9 176
8 258
Luanda
1 617
800
1 294
-
-
-
1 617
1 294
Kwanza Norte
9 510
750
7 132
-
-
-
9 510
7 132
Malange
20 651
650
13 423
-
-
-
20 651
13 423
Lunda Norte
6 241
600
3 745
-
-
-
6 241
3 745
Lunda Sul
7 248
600
4 349
-
-
-
7 248
4 349
Central Region
465 120
 
288 724
48 364
 
28 023
513 484
316 745
Kwanza Sul
64 344
750
48 258
1 192
600
715
65 536
48 973
Benguela
110 877
600
66 526
27 265
600
16 359
138 142
82 885
Huambo
178 446
600
107 068
14 391
550
7 915
192 837
114 983
Bie
90 110
600
54 066
5 517
550
3 034
95 627
57 100
Moxico
21 343
600
12 806
-
-
-
21 343
12 806
Southern Region
128 359
 
80 252
143 542
 
73 713
271 901
153 965
Namibe
7 817
300
2 345
2 373
350
831
10 190
3 176
Huila
83 217
700
58 252
60 521
600
36 313
143 738
94 565
Cunene
13 700
400
5 480
51 914
400
20 766
65 614
26 246
Kuando Kubango
23 626
600
14 175
28 734
550
15 804
52 360
29 979
TOTAL
672 941
636
428 045
191 907
 
101 736
864 848
529 780

* Irrigated area.

Table 2: Angola - Area and production of other main crops, 1998/99

Region/Province
 
Cereals
Beans
Cassava
Total
Area (ha)
Prod. (tonnes)
Area (ha)
Yield (kg/ha)
Prod. (tonnes)
Area (ha)
Yield (kg/ha)
Prod.1/
(tonnes)
Area (ha)
Prod. (tonnes)
Northern region
79 463
59 070
50 304
 
18 663
364 928
 
2 190 121
494 696
2 267 854
Cabinda
2 652
1 857
2 021
350
707
6 567
6 000
39 403
11 240
41 967
Zaire
6 149
5 227
5 637
350
1 973
35 357
5 500
194 461
47 143
201 661
Uige
16 219
13 786
14 597
450
6 569
115 153
5 500
633 341
145 969
653 696
Bengo
9 176
8 258
2 676
400
1 071
20 646
6 000
123 875
32 498
133 204
Luanda
1 617
1 294
1 532
500
766
4 086
5 000
20 431
7 235
22 491
Kwanza Norte
9 510
7 132
5 811
300
1 743
31 699
7 000
221 890
47 020
230 765
Malange
20 651
13 423
8 503
350
2 976
82 603
7 000
578 219
111 757
594 618
Lunda Norte
6 241
3 745
6 809
300
2 043
38 015
5 500
209 085
51 065
214 873
Lunda Sul
7 248
4 349
2 718
300
815
30 803
5 500
169 415
40 769
174 579
Central Region
513 484
316 745
114 891
 
40 976
139 289
 
863 767
767 664
1 221 488
Kwanza Sul
65 536
48 973
15 490
400
6 196
23 831
6 000
142 987
104 857
198 156
Benguela
138 142
82 885
18 177
250
4 544
10 906
5 000
54 530
167 225
141 959
Huambo
192 837
114 983
40 294
400
16 118
37 416
6 500
243 205
270 547
374 306
Bie
95 627
57 100
36 780
350
12 873
40 458
6 500
262 975
172 865
332 948
Moxico
21 343
12 806
4 150
300
1 245
26 679
6 000
160 071
52 172
174 122
Southern Region
271 901
153 965
24 347
 
7 870
18 961
 
75 846
315 209
237 681
Namibe
10 190
3 176
977
200
195
-
-
-
11 167
3 371
Huila
143 738
94 565
15 130
350
5 296
15 130
4 000
60 521
173 998
160 382
Cunene
65 614
26 246
5 047
250
1 262
-
-
-
70 661
27 508
Kuando Kubango
52 360
29 979
3 193
350
1 117
3 831
4 000
15 325
59 384
46 421
TOTAL
864 848
529 780
189 542
 
67 509
523 179
 
3 129 734
1 577 569
3 727 023

1
/ Fresh roots.
Source: Mission estimates

Table 3: Angola - Production of coarse grains from 1993/94 to 1998/99
(in `000 tonnes)

Province
1993/94
1994/95
1995/96
1996/97
1997/98
1998/99
Benguela
60
20
82
65
84
83
Bie
19
32
58
84
98
57
Huambo
17
45
108
112
159
115
Huila
69
59
71
49
70
95
Kwanza Sul
33
30
44
21
48
49
Malange
11
9
25
11
21
13
Moxico
n/a
n/a
16
21
21
13
Other provinces
45*
77*
96
68
93
105
Total production
254
272
500
431
594
5301/
Total ha (`000)
841
852
783
782
862
865
* Including Moxico
n/a: Not available.
1/ Excludes 3 000 tonnes of milled rice.

3.7 Other Crops

In the high rainfall areas of the northern and central provinces, a wide variety of other foodcrops are grown, notably sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, groundnuts, cow peas, bananas and other fruits. With this year's favourable rainfall, good production of these crops is expected and, despite logistic problems, a large range of products was seen in the markets in the north. In the Central Provinces, vegetables are mainly grown in low-lying areas during the dry season, and at the time of the Mission were in short supply. In the southern regions, where grain is the main staple, the availability of other foodcrops was low.

Historical production data for most of the above crops are not available, but some preliminary figures for 1999 for selected crops are shown in Table 4 below.

Table 4: Angola - Production of other crops in 1999

Region/Province
Sweet potatoes
Irish potatoes
Groundnuts
Area (`000 ha)
Yield (kg/ha)
Prod. (tonnes)
Area
(`000 ha)
Yield (kg/ha)
Prod. (tonnes)
Area
(`000 ha)
Yield (kg/ha)
Prod. (tonnes)
Northern region
25.5
 
82 150
0.9
 
1 800
18.0
 
5 480
Cabinda
0.6
3 500
2 100
-
-
-
0.6
250
150
Zaire
2.1
3 000
6 300
-
-
-
2.1
200
420
Uige
9.7
3 500
33 950
-
-
-
3.2
350
1 120
Bengo
3.4
2 500
8 500
0.4
2 000
800
1.1
300
330
Luanda
0.7
2 500
1 750
-
-
-
-
-
-
Kwanza Norte
2.1
3 500
7 350
0.5
2 000
1 000
2.1
300
630
Malange
3.6
3 500
12 600
-
-
-
4.9
350
1 715
Lunda Norte
2.3
3 000
6 900
-
-
-
1.7
250
425
Lunda Sul
0.9
3 000
2 700
-
-
-
2.3
300
690
Central Region
27.4
 
76 450
4.1
 
11 700
17.8
 
5 155
Kwanza Sul
2.4
2 500
6 000
1.2
2 500
3 000
8.3
250
2 070
Benguela
9.1
2 500
22 750
-
-
-
1.8
300
540
Huambo
8.6
3 000
25 800
2.9
3 000
8 700
2.9
350
1 015
Bie
5.5
3 000
16 500
-
-
-
1.8
350
630
Moxico
1.8
3 000
5 400
-
-
-
3.0
300
900
Southern Region
10.5
 
23 450
1.9
 
5 700
1.9
 
665
Namibe
0.8
1 500
1 200
-
-
-
-
-
-
Huila
5.7
2 500
14 250
1.9
3 000
5 700
1.9
350
665
Cunene
1.4
2 000
2 800
-
-
-
-
-
-
Kuando Kubango
2.6
2 000
5 200
-
-
-
-
-
-
TOTAL
63.4
 
182 050
6.9
 
19 200
37.7
 
11 300

Source: FAO/WFP Mission estimates.

3.8 Livestock situation

Favourable rainfall in 1998/99 greatly improved pastures, particularly in the southern provinces which were affected by dry conditions in 1997/98. In the northern and central provinces, which are particularly susceptible to tick-borne diseases, the cattle population has been virtually wiped out and only goats, pigs and chickens are kept by farmers for subsistence purposes.

The civil strife has also seriously affected livestock rearing in the southern pastoral areas, which used to hold 90 percent of the national cattle herd. MINADER in Cunene reported that the cattle population decreased to about 1 million head some 45 percent below the numbers of 15 to 20 years ago. However, over the past few years, following an improved security situation in the south, the numbers have stabilized.

In all provinces vaccines and other veterinary supplies to combat livestock diseases are in short supply. Externally funded projects to revive the once active veterinary services and provide veterinary inputs have been prepared and are ready for implementation as soon as the security situation improves.

The Mission observed widespread use of draught oxen in Huila province, with good land preparation and row planting as a result. Plans to re-introduce animal traction in Bie and Huambo are still hampered by the armed conflict.

-------

4. SITUATION BY REGION/PROVINCE

4.1 Northern Region

Out of the nine provinces of the region, the Mission could visit only five namely Luanda, Bengo, Uige, Kwanza Norte and Lunda Sul. Due to security constraints the mission did not visit Cabinda, Lunda Norte, Zaire and Malange. However reports on the situation this season were received from the provincial offices of MINADER in Cabinda, Malange and Zaire.

The region is characterized by good rains which allow growing of a variety of crops. The mean annual precipitation is in the range of 800-1600 mm. Rains were described as better this season than the previous one in most of the region with the exception of Malange, Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul provinces where rains were slightly less than in the previous season.

A cassava-based cropping system predominates in the region. Being the staple foodcrop of the region, cassava is widely grown as the principal crop with maize, sweet potatoes and bananas as secondary crops.

Cabinda:

Information provided by the MINADER indicated that sufficient rains were received during this season. Main crops grown in the province are cassava, maize and beans. Land preparation took place on time. Seeds for various crops were distributed by NGOs in the province. Slight incidences of army worms and grasshoppers were reported. With a total population of 23 000 farming families, total maize production is estimated at 1 857 tonnes.

Zaire:

Remote sensing data and reports from MINADER indicated higher rainfall this season than in 1997/98. The security situation was described as bad in the entire province except the coastal zone. Maize, cassava, beans, groundnuts and sweet potatoes are the main crops of the province. Shortage of seeds and hand tools was considered as one of the constraints to food production. No incidence of crop pests and diseases was reported.

Uige:

The main crops grown are cassava, maize, beans and sweet potatoes. Rains were better this season compared with the last season. The holding per resident family ranges from 0.5-1.5 hectares while IDPs cultivated an average 0.25 hectares. Maize comes second to cassava in terms of area planted. Insecurity negatively affected agricultural production as some 10 000 farming families out of 164 000 have been internally displaced since December 1998. Maize was reported to be affected by the grain borer. Seeds and hand tools distributed by the Government and NGOs were considered insufficient. Total maize production was estimated at 13 786 tonnes. Prices of basic foodstuffs have increased dramatically since March as a result of transport difficulties.

Bengo:

The farming community is estimated at approximately 39 000 families. Insecurity and resumption of hostilities in late 1998 caused displacement of about 6 600 farming families in the province. Cassava, maize, beans and sweet potatoes are the main crops grown. Rains above average and higher than last year were recorded in all municipalities. As a result, higher yields of foodcrops were observed by the members of the Mission and confirmed by reports from MINADER, farmers interviewed and NGOs working in the province. Seeds and tools distributed by the government and NGOs were considered insufficient. Total maize production is estimated at 8 258 tonnes.

Luanda:

The number of farming families in Luanda is estimated at 7 700. Meteosat images indicated much higher rainfall than in the previous year. Maize, cassava, sweet potatoes and beans are the main crops. Total maize production in the province is estimated at 1 294 tonnes.

Kwanza Norte:

The total number of farming families is estimated at 65 000 of which 14 000 are displaced. Rainfall this season was considered adequate but distribution was reported as irregular during February. Cassava is the major foodcrop in the province. Other crops include beans, maize, banana, Irish potato and sweet potato. Assistance with seeds and tools was provided to both residents and displaced people. Insecurity affected production and many farmers were not able to harvest their foodcrops as they abandoned their homes. Total maize production is estimated at 7 132 tonnes.

Malange:

Remote sensing data and reports from MINADER on the agricultural situation indicate normal rains during the season. However, dry spells, insecurity and lack of basic agricultural inputs affected yields. Over 25 000 farming families have been displaced since December 1998. Maize, cassava, beans, groundnut and sweet potato are the main foodcrops. With a total farming population of 132 000 families, total maize production is estimated at 13 423 tonnes.

Lunda Norte:

The Mission did not visit the province. However, satellite imagery suggests that above average rains, though slightly less than last year, fell during this season. With a total population of 55 702 farming families the total production of maize is estimated at 3 745 tonnes.

Lunda Sul:

Satellite images and information available from the Ministry of Agriculture indicated that rainfall was sufficient but less than last year. However, a dry spell during late October/early November was experienced in some parts of the province. Cassava, the most important crop in the province, accounted for more than 70 percent of the area cultivated. Other crops include maize, sweet potato, beans, groundnut and vegetables. Maize is normally eaten fresh. The displaced farming families are estimated at 7 706 out of a total population of 42 254 farming families. In view of the prevailing poor security situation NGOs were only able to work in the provincial capital and its outskirts. Limited assistance with seeds and hand tools was provided to IDPs and resident farmers by NGOs and MINADER.

4.2 Central Region

This region consists of five provinces namely Benguela, Bie, Huambo, Kwanza Sul and Moxico. Most of the country's cereals are produced in the region. Rainfall was below the level of the previous season and dry spells and excessive rains were experienced during the season. Intensification of hostilities has severely affected the agricultural season in many parts of the region.

Kwanza Sul:

Remote sensing data indicated that rains were less than last year. Maize, beans, cassava and groundnuts are the major crops grown in the province. With a population of 94 000 farming families of whom 11 000 were displaced, total maize production is estimated at 48 258 tonnes.

Benguela:

The Mission inspected the irrigated fields along the coastal zone. The province has a farming population of approximately 164 000 families. About 13 000 families have been displaced from rural areas to the capital and municipalities. Maize, sorghum, millet, cassava and beans are the main crops grown in the province. Most of the maize comes from two interior zones where insecurity has caused population displacement. In the coastal zone only irrigated agriculture is practised as the normal annual precipitation does not exceed 250 mm. Commercial farming accounts for 80 percent of the farming activities using pump irrigation. Displaced families were assisted by NGOs to plant small areas not exceeding 0.25 hectare per family. Fertilizers are available in the province but at high price unaffordable by the farmers. With application of fertilizers in irrigated fields, the yield exceeds two tonnes per hectare. Seeds of maize, beans and sorghum were distributed by the Government and NGOs, but the quantities were not sufficient. Remote sensing data shows that rainfall was below last year. The area planted to Maize is estimated at 110 000 hectares, and maize production is estimated at 66 526 tonnes.

Huambo:

The Mission visited the province but was not able to travel beyond the vicinity of the capital. The farming population in the province is estimated at approximately 272 000 families. Major crops include maize, sorghum, millet, groundnut, Irish potato and sweet potato. Rainfall was less than last year. Dry spells and excessive rains were experienced during the season. The recent fighting has displaced over 40 000 farming families, beginning just after planting. The total cropped area is calculated at 287 000 hectares of which 178 000 was under maize. Seeds and tools distributed by MINADER and NGOs were considered insufficient. Maize production is estimated at 107 000 tonnes.

Bie:

The Mission did not visit the province. Deterioration of the security situation caused massive displacement of the farming population, which severely impacted crop production in the province. With a farming population estimated at 163 000 families, total production of maize is estimated at 54 066 tonnes which is 43 percent below last year's.

Moxico:

Meteosat data indicated rainfall slightly less than last year. Maize, beans groundnut and cassava are the main crops in the province. Information provided by MINADER cited the shortage of basic production inputs as one of the major problems encountered by farmers. The total number of families engaged in agriculture is estimated at 66 000. Insecurity has displaced almost 30 percent of the farming population and led to a sharp decline in production. With an area planted estimated at 21 343 hectares, total provincial maize production is estimated at 12 806 tonnes which is 40 percent less than last year.

4.3 Southern Region

The region consists of four provinces namely Huila, Cunene, Kuando Kubango and Namibe. The region is considered relatively secure except for pockets of insecurity in Huila provinces. While the mission was visiting Huila, meetings were held with MINADER officials from Cunene and Namibe. Rains were considered good this season and in most areas much better than last year's poor rainfall.

Namibe:

Both Meteosat images and reports from the field indicated good rains, which were better than the last season. The quantity of seeds and tools distributed to IDPs were considered below their requirements. Incidence of grain borer in the maize crop was reported in different locations. With an estimated farming population of 12 000 families, total cereal production in the province is estimated at 3 176 tonnes.

Huila:

Huila is the most productive province in the region. The Mission visited the province and travelled some long distance to inspect fields of cereal crops. Maize, sorghum and millet are the major crops grown in the province. The total farming population in the province is estimated at some 140 000 families. Insecurity in the province has caused displacement of over 14 500 families from the rural areas to the capitals of the municipalities. Seeds and tools were distributed by NGOs and Government but were below the requirements. Animal traction is used by most of the farmers in the province, allowing larger planted areas. Fertilizers were available but at price unaffordable by the small-scale poor farmers. The stands of crops in the north eastern part of the province were good and estimation of yields by the Mission indicated higher yields than those reported by MINADER officials. Total cereal production is estimated at 58 252 of maize and 36 313 of sorghum and millet. High livestock populations were noticed in different parts of the province and animals were in good condition. However lack of veterinary services and drugs was cited as one of the difficulties facing livestock producers.

Cunene:

The mission did not visit the province but met with MINADER officials who were in Huila during the time of the mission. The main crops cultivated in the province include sorghum, millet, maize and beans. With an estimated farming population of about 48 533 families, the cereal production in the province is estimated at 26 246 tonnes, of which 20 766 tonnes is sorghum and millet. Seeds and tools distributed by NGOs were inadequate in terms of quantity and quality. Rains were better this season compared with last year. Flooding due to heavy rains was recorded during March. Birds were the only crop pests reported.

Kuanda Kubango:

The Mission did not visit the province. The security situation was reported to be bad in several municipalities and some 11 600 farming families were displaced. Heavy rains were recorded in the province causing floods in several locations. Maize, sorghum, millet and cassava are the major crops grown in the province. With an estimated population of 63 360 farming families the total cereal production is estimated at 29 979 tonnes of which 15 804 tonnes are sorghum and millet. Seeds and agricultural hand tools were not distributed on time, hampered agricultural production.

-------

5. FOOD SUPPLY SITUATION

5.1 Access to food and prices

Traditionally, Angola was self-sufficient in maize; the country was a net exporter of maize but wheat and rice had to be imported to supplement local production. However, more than 20 years of civil strife, displacement of people, farm land infested by land mines and other consequences of war seriously affected agricultural production. Furthermore, a poor marketing network restricted movements of food from surplus to deficit areas. Thus, presently domestic production of cereals covers only about half of domestic requirements. This leaves a large deficit in cereals to be covered by commercial and food aid imports, the latter to provide assistance to large numbers of vulnerable groups whose purchasing power and/or production capacity have dwindled due to high unemployment and inflation, and internal displacement.

Another important staple is cassava which nationally contributes almost as many calories to the daily diet as do cereals. The main cassava producing/consuming areas are the northern provinces. Cassava is also an important staple in parts of the Central Provinces, but is less important in southern provinces. Cassava and maize can, to a large extent, substitute each other in the food basket, but in cases of crop failures, deficits in cassava, which is not generally imported, would have to be covered by maize imports.

Cereals and cassava provide about 70 percent of the average daily intake of calories. Pulses, fruit, vegetables and sweeteners provide another 12 percent, while the remainder is covered by meat, fish, eggs, milk and fats and oils.

The renewed civil strife since late 1998 has added further constraints to the already inefficient marketing system. Transfer of surplus produce to deficit areas between and even within provinces is carried out only at high risk and cost, as is the distribution of basic household necessities. This has resulted in large variations in commodity prices among provincial markets as indicated in Table 5 below. Prices of maize range from 150 000 KZR/kg in Malange to 555 000 KZR/kg in Benguela. Similarly, in Huambo, prices are twice those in the adjacent Huila province reflecting poor road communication. Real prices of basic staples are also on the increase in urban areas, reflecting an isolation of the cities in the interior of the country. The trend in prices in Huambo markets over the past 12 months is shown in Chart 1. It indicates that prices in KZR for the selected basic commodities have increased three to five times, well above the 1998 annual inflation rate of 136 percent. When expressed in US$ (converted at the parallel exchange rate), the increase in food prices has also been substantial. The price of maize grain rose 38 percent from its level of a year ago, while prices of maize flour and beans increased by 28 percent and 19 percent respectively. The rapid increase in prices is seriously affecting access to basic foodstuffs for the poorest segments of the population.

Table 5: Angola - Market prices in April 1999 (million KZR per kg)

 
Maize grain
Maize flour
Rice
Beans
Veg. Oil
Salt
Sugar
Luanda
0.400
0.800
0.800
2.000
1.800
0.400
1.000
Malange
0.150
0.200
0.600
1.000
0.800
0.300
1.000
Kwanza N.
0.250
0.300
1.000
2.100
2.000
0.300
1.000
Benguela
0.550
0.600
0.700
2.500
2.000
0.050
0.750
Huambo
0.500
0.700
1.700
1.500
3.000
1.000
1.600
Moxico
0.250
0.450
1.300
1.400
3.300
1.200
2.000
Cunene
0.280
0.400
0.800
1.300
1.600
0.200
0.900
Huila
0.250
0.350
0.850
1.300
1.800
0.150
0.850
Namibe
0.270
0.300
0.650
1.200
1.800
0.050
0.900

5.2 Cereal supply/demand balance, 1999/2000

A forecast of the cereal supply/demand position for the 1999/2000 marketing year (April/March) is based on the following assumptions and summarized in Table 6 below. The table also contains figures for cassava to show the relative importance of this crop vis-à-vis cereals, even though it is largely produced and consumed in the northern provinces.

Table 6: Angola - Cereal balance sheet 1999/2000 (`000 tonnes)

 
Wheat
Rice 1/
Coarse grains
TOTAL CEREALS
Cassava2/
Domestic availability
-
3
530
533
3 130
Stock drawdown
-
-
-
-
-
1999 production
-
3
530
533
3 130
Domestic utilization
220
73
745
1 038
3 130
Food use
220
73
645
938
2 3603/
Other uses
-
-
100
100
770
Import requirements
220
70
215
505
-
Commercial import capacity
220
70
35
325
-
Emergency food aid needs
-
-
180
180
-
Food aid pledged/delivered
-
-
56
56
-
Uncovered deficit
     
124
-

1/ In milled form.
2/ Cassava, however, is mainly produced and consumed in the northern provinces.
3/ Approximately 810 000 tonnes maize equivalent.

The cereal import requirement is estimated at 505 000 tonnes. This requirement compares with the actual cereal imports of 420 000 tonnes during the 1998/99 marketing year. Of the import requirement of 505 000 tonnes, the Mission estimates that 325 000 tonnes will be imported commercially, leaving a gap of 180 000 tonnes to be covered by emregency food aid. Food aid pledges and deliveries as of late May amount to 56 000 tonnes, leaving an uncovered deficit of 124 000 tonnes.

5.3 Emergency food assistance requirement

Emergency relief and resettlement food aid needs were assessed by WFP through extensive pre-mission visits, and during the mission, in close consultation with those agencies and government bodies involved in both the delivery and the co-ordination of humanitarian aid. Discussions were held with NGOs, donors, government bodies and other UN agencies at both national and provincial levels throughout the country. It should be noted, however, that the gathering of detailed food security information has been limited this year by the restrictions imposed by renewed conflict which has rendered large areas of the country inaccessible.

The resurgence of widespread conflict has had a dramatic impact on the food aid needs in Angola for 1999. The report of last year's Mission identified a slow pace of normalisation of rural administration, delays in the national reconciliation process, and poor security conditions as major factors limiting the activities of humanitarian agencies and discouraging the return home of displaced people and refugees. This level of instability continued to increase throughout 1998, with full-scale conflict erupting in December. A steady increase in population displacement accompanied this intensification, from April 1998 onward, with large movements recorded in July 1998 as well as from November 1998 to February 1999. As of early May 1999 the total confirmed number of newly displaced was approximately 930 000, with over 1 million reported.1/

1/ The difference between `reported' and `confirmed' IDPs is a reflection of the limitations that the current level of insecurity imposes on assessment and verification exercises. Notably these data also refer only to those displaced in the Government held areas, and that no equivalent information is currently available on displaced numbers in UNITA areas.

Generally, population movements have primarily occurred from rural areas to district capitals and other regional centres during the initial period of insecurity. With the intensification of conflict, further movements to the provincial capitals, to the government held secure zones along the coast, and to the south-western areas of the southern provinces have been recorded. Malange, Kuito, and Huambo have been the provincial capitals most directly affected by the current conflict, receiving the greatest number of displaced people from their surrounding rural hinterlands. Large displacements have also occurred to and within Huila, Kwanza Norte, and Benguela provinces and the level of insecurity in these provinces has increased considerably since the end of last year.

Displaced people are, in most cases, the most food insecure. However, the conflict has clearly had a negative impact on the food security status of the majority of the population, undermining and negatively impacting on livelihood systems. This is particularly evident in those towns and cities that have received the greatest numbers of displaced people.

Thus despite the good climatic conditions, and the potential for production increases, a large proportion of the population are food insecure. The total number of people in need of humanitarian food assistance, as assessed by the mission, represents an increase of approximately 50 percent over 1998 estimates. The amount of food necessary for humanitarian assistance programs has also risen significantly, due to a shift in programming brought about by the change in the country situation. In transition programs, assistance is provided to supplement food needs only in part because it is expected that beneficiaries will be able to cover the rest of their needs through other activities. Emergency programming, which will be necessary to a much greater extent this year, generally covers a greater proportion of food needs, as beneficiaries are usually more food insecure.

High levels of food insecurity are related to several major factors, including:

Taking these factors into account, this year's estimates have been based upon the development of scenarios for each province within the overall country context. Each scenario contains estimates for relief, resettlement and temporary agricultural settlement, and includes an element for programmes, food for work and vulnerable group feeding, which are intended to meet the needs of the most food insecure population groups in each area in a targetted fashion, where the situation permits.

Estimates for the number of beneficiaries of food assistance assume access to this year's dry season harvest as well as to the lowland and highland fields for planting during the wet season. The need estimates also take into account some degree of low-level trading across the frontiers between conflict affected areas.

Given the unpredictability of the security situation and the future situation of food access, however, it may be necessary to revise food assistance requirements further in the coming year. Should the security situation deteriorate further, for example, the needs of the residents in certain key cities (such as Malange, Kuito, Huambo, Menongue, and Luena) will need to be taken into account. Additional needs may also arise from improved access to certain areas, such as key towns along the Huambo/Kuito/Benguela corridor area, and UNITA areas such as the Andulo and Bailundo.

WFP uses a number of different interventions to reach beneficiaries in Angola. In the present crisis, immediate humanitarian assistance is provided through emergency rations distributed to newly-displaced IDPs. To reach physiologically and socially vulnerable segments of the population, including both residents and IDPs, a variety of specially targetted feeding programs are employed. Beyond meeting the immediate needs of the most vulnerable war-affected populations in Angola, WFP takes a long-term view of the current situation and wishes to promote sustainable programs which reduce dependency on external assistance. In this manner, WFP supports temporary agricultural resettlement efforts for IDPs, as well as rehabilitation programs for both vulnerable residents and IDPs which aim to reconstruct social infrastructures.

Table 7: Average Number of Beneficiaries by Intervention Type

Province
Relief
Assistance
Institutional
Feeding
Supplementary
and
Therapeutic
Feeding
Settlement
and Food
for Work
Total
Bengo
36 480
13 680
1 520
9 120
60 800
Benguela
79 560
29 835
3 315
19 890
132 600
Bie
63 180
23 692
2 633
15 795
105 300
Cunene
11 820
4 432
493
2 955
19 700
Huambo
68 760
25 785
2 865
17 190
114 600
Huila
63 120
23 670
2 630
15 780
105 200
Kuando K.
35 580
13 343
1 482
8 895
59 300
Kwanza N.
28 260
10 598
1 178
7 065
47 100
Kwanza S.
22 860
8 572
953
5 715
38 100
Luanda
28 620
10 733
1 192
7 155
47 700
Lunda N.
6 360
2 385
265
1 590
10 600
Lunda S.
23 760
8 910
990
5 940
39 600
Malange
91 860
34 448
3 828
22 965
153 100
Moxico
28 440
10 665
1 185
7 110
47 400
Namibe
9 120
3 420
380
2 280
15 200
Uige
31 560
11 835
1 315
7 890
52 600
Zaire
47 100
17 663
1 962
11 775
78 500
Total
676 440
253 665
28 185
169 110
1 127 400

Intervention Types:

Relief Assistance: This type of intervention, which is carried out through the distribution of emergency rations, is targetted to beneficiaries who are mainly IDPs that became displaced as a result of the renewed conflict, and approximately 3 500 refugees from the DRC.

Institutional Feeding: This category includes both physiological and socially vulnerable groups irrespective of their origin (IDP/resident).

Supplementary and Therapeutic Feeding: This type of intervention is comprised largely of programs that are focussed on children ages 0-5 who are moderately or severely malnourished. Expectant and nursing mothers are also included in these interventions.

Settlement and Food for Work: Current and new IDPs who will be placed in temporary agricultural settlements, as well as IDPs and vulnerable area residents in all Food-For-Work related activities and their respective family members at an average of five persons.

In principle, WFP's strategy in partnership with the Local Government and NGOs, is to provide suitable agricultural conditions to allow IDPs to build their own food reserves and achieve short term food self sufficiency. Main Food for Work activities will involve rehabilitation of social and agricultural infrastructures, vocational training and land use planing activities in the temporary agricultural settlements.

Table: 8 - Relief Food Aid Requirements per Caseload (in tonnes/year)

Categories
Beneficiaries
Maize
Pulses
Veg. Oil
CSB
Sugar
Salt
TOTAL FOOD
Refugees and IDPs
567 500
91 935
8 172
6 129
-
-
1 022
107 258
Resettlement
217 000
35 154
3 125
2 344
-
-
391
41 013
Rehabilitation
215 000
34 830
3 096
2 322
-
-
387
40 635
Vulnerable Groups
127 900
18 418
1 381
1 215
5 247
503
230
26 995
TOTAL
1 127 400
180 337
15 774
12 010
5 247
503
2 029
215 900

Combining carryover stock as of 31 March, 1999 and the arrival and pledges on the pipeline of 55 705 tonnes of maize, 8 945 tonnes of pulses, 5 610 tonnes of vegetable oil, 4 725 tonnes of blended foods, the relief food aid gap to be resourced is calculated at 124 632 tonnes of maize, 6 829 tonnes of pulses, 6 400 tonnes of vegetable oil and 522 tonnes of blended foods.

5.4 Logistics

Food Commodities are received by WFP in Angola through the three main seaports: Luanda in the North (45 percent of the total cargo), Lobito in the Center (45 percent) and Namibe in the South (10 percent). As there is no permanent WFP presence in Namibe, and cargo received in that port is transported immediately to Lubango for storage. In addition to the commodities received directly by WFP, the organization also transports food on behalf of the humanitarian community in Angola.

Logistic capacities for food assistance in Angola at the present time are very much dependent on the security situation. Whereas WFP was previously making deliveries by road to over 200 destinations, with the resurgence of conflict the number of locations accessed by road is now less than 50. Frequent road attacks, fluctuating road tariffs, and scarcity of fuel in some provinces have all led to increased costs of transport and decreased capacity.

The Northern Corridor, which starts in Luanda at present, allows access by road to the East only up to Malange and to the South up to Sumbe, and even these routes are high risk. Road deliveries from Lobito are only to Chongoroi and Cubal which are at the moment still reachable, at high security risk. The Southern Corridor, covering the provinces Namibe, Cunene and Huila, is still being serviced by road, although rather than sending WFP-accompanied convoys, WFP now contracts commercial transporters who are fully responsible for safe delivery of the cargo.

Limited road access has forced WFP to increase the airlift of commodities significantly. Currently, about 3 500 tonnes are transported by air each month from hubs in Luanda and near Lobito, an amount expected to increase to 5 000 tonnes in June 1999. Air deliveries too, however, are hindered by poor security situations. Factors such as the lack of aeronautical information, inadequate aircraft ground support services, poor maintenance and repair of airports/airstrips, limited availability reliable air operators willing to operate in precarious areas, lack of sufficient fuel, and very high insurance rates all contribute to increased transport costs.

At the provincial level, distribution of commodities from WFP warehouses are made by local and international NGOs with which WFP has co-operation agreements. Since the departure of MONUA in early 1999, however, WFP has assumed a larger role in supporting humanitarian operations locally. Combined with a scarcity of fuel and poor security conditions, local transport costs for WFP have also risen.

Taking all of these factors into account, the internal transport, storage and handling (ITSH) costs have risen from US$219/tonne last year to US$330/tonne this year. Should an improvement in the security situation occur, a lowering of these costs cannot be ruled out, although several major road corridors would likely need to be de-mined and rehabilitated before major road deliveries could resume.

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.

Abdur Rashid
Chief, GIEWS FAO
Fax: 0039-06-5705-4495
E-mail: giews1@fao.org

Mohamed Zejjari
Director, OSA, WFP
Fax:0039-06-6513-2839
E-Mail: Mohamed.Zejjari@wfp.org

The Special Alerts/Reports can also be received automatically by e-mail as soon as these are published, subscribing to the GIEWS/Alerts report ListServ. To do so, please send an e-mail to the FAO-Mail-Server at the following address: mailserv@mailserv.fao.org, leaving the subject blank, with the following message:

subscribe GIEWSAlerts-L

To be deleted from the list, send the message:

unsubscribe GIEWSAlerts-L


back to the table of contents Back to menu