Government advances against rebels in central and northern areas have resulted in fresh waves of displaced people escaping from the fighting. Planting of the 1999/2000 cereal crops is underway. Prospects are uncertain. Persistent insecurity and constant movements of population, coupled with dry weather in October in central and southern parts, have adversely affected field operations. The food supply situation remains extremely serious. Severe nutrition problems among the displaced population continue to be reported from several parts, including Matalala, Kuito, Huambo and Malange. Despite the Government's capture of Bailundo and Andulo, insecurity and land mines continue to prevent access of humanitarian workers to these and other formerly besieged cities, which also remain isolated from commercial traffic. Prices of food have increased sharply in the provincial capitals, resulting in increased food difficulties for the resident population. The Government has launched a programme to relocate two million displaced people in agricultural areas and has appealed for international assistance to support the programme.
Normal rains in October in southern growing areas facilitated land preparation for planting of coarse grains, mainly sorghum, about to start. However more precipitation is needed in several parts where rains have been erratic. The 1999 coarse grains output was estimated at 19 000 tonnes, almost twice the extremely poor level of the previous year, but half the average of the past five years. Production was adversely affected by a prolonged dry spell. However, the country’s consumption needs are mainly met by imports. Cereal import requirement in marketing year 1999/2000 (April/March) are estimated at 250 000 tonnes, including 185 000 tonnes of coarse grains and 65 000 tonnes of wheat. All imports will be covered on commercial basis.
Harvesting of the 1999 wheat crop has started. The outlook is satisfactory. However, the forecast production of 30 000 tonnes may not be reached due to a dry spell early in the season that is likely to have reduced plantings and yields. Abundant rains in the third dekad of September allowed land preparation for planting of the 1999/2000 coarse grains. However, erratic rains in October have delayed sowing in parts. More rains are needed to prevent declines in the area planted. The overall food supply situation is satisfactory. The 1999 coarse grain production increased 21 percent from the reduced crop of the previous year, to 182 000 tonnes. However, maize output covers less than half the domestic consumption and imports in marketing year 1999/2000 are estimated at 155 000 tonnes, most of which will be covered commercially.
Planting of the 1999/2000 paddy and maize crops is about to start. Soil moisture is adequate reflecting normal rain in the past month. According to official reports, migratory locusts are forming in central and south-western areas. Breeding is expected to start with the onset of the rainy season and FAO will be carefully monitoring the situation in the coming months. The 1999 paddy output, harvested until June, was estimated at a good level of 2.6 million tonnes, an increase of 8 percent over the previous year’s reduced output. Abundant rains during the growing season, coupled with absence of pests and cyclones, favoured this year's rice production. Reflecting the good paddy harvest, the overall food supply situation is stable and has markedly improved in vulnerable areas of the South.
Normal weather conditions in October have facilitated land preparation for planting of the 1999/2000 maize crop about to start. Distribution of agricultural inputs by the Government, which boosted production last year, is again underway. The 1999 maize production increased sharply from the previous year. Final official estimates indicate a record output of 2.5 million tonnes. As a result, the food supply situation has improved substantially. Markets are well supplied and real prices of maize are below their levels of a year ago. After replenishing the Security Grain Reserve, the country has an exportable surplus in marketing year 1999/2000 (April/March) estimated at 400 000 tonnes.
Planting of the 1999/2000 coarse grain crops has started following normal precipitation in October. Cereal production in 1999 increased for the fifth year in succession, to 1.7 million tonnes. Maize exportable surplus in marketing year 1999/2000 (April/March) is estimated at 150 000 tonnes. Import requirements of wheat and rice are estimated at 175 000 tonnes and 150 000 respectively, which are expected to be covered mostly on commercial basis. As a result of this year's bumper crop, the food supply situation is satisfactory and markets are well supplied. In areas that suffered crop losses due to floods early in the season, a second crop has been obtained after water receded and the food security situation has improved. Pastures and livestock are also reported in good condition throughout the country.
Land preparation for planting of the 1999/2000 crops has started in northern areas. Weather conditions are normal so far. The recently harvested wheat crop is estimated at an average level of 5 000 tonnes. The 1999 coarse grains production was estimated at 70 000 tonnes, substantially higher than last year but below average. However, the food supply situation is stable, reflecting the country's import capacity. Cereal import requirements in marketing year 1999/2000 (April/March) are estimated at 126 000 tonnes.
Harvesting of the 1999 wheat crop is underway. Prospects are poor. Latest forecasts point to a crop of 1.58 million tonnes, 7 percent lower than the revised production figure of last year and below average. This reflects mainly reduced plantings Planting of the 1999/2000 coarse grains has started. More rains are needed following erratic precipitation in late October/early November. Final estimates of the 1999 maize harvest indicate an output of 7.4 million tonnes, almost unchanged from 1998 and well below the average of the past five years. The crop was affected by excessive precipitation early in the season, which were followed by prolonged dry weather. After two consecutive poor maize harvests, the country's exportable surpluses in marketing year 1999/2000 (April/March) has been sharply reduced.
Abundant rains in the third dekad of September allowed land preparation for planting of the 1999/2000 maize crop. However, subsequent dry weather in October has delayed field operations. More rains are urgently needed to avoid reductions in the area planted. The food supply situation is stable. The 1999 maize harvest was estimated at 113 000 tonnes, well below last year's bumper crop, but was average. Despite an increase in plantings, excessive rains followed by a dry spell negatively affected the crop. Import requirement for maize in marketing year 1999/2000 is estimated at 24 000 tonnes. The country has a structural deficit in wheat and rice of 48 000 tonnes. All imports are anticipated to be covered commercially.
Harvesting of the irrigated 1999 wheat crop is almost completed. The output is forecast at 99 000 tonnes, a substantial increase on last year's level of 71 000 tonnes, reflecting increased sowings. Planting of the 1999/2000 maize crop has started. Availability of agricultural inputs, mainly seeds and fertilizers, is reported to be adequate. The 1999 maize production was estimated at 856 000 tonnes, a marked recovery from the poor harvest of the previous year but still below average. Import requirements in marketing year 1999/2000 are estimated at 370 000 tonnes, to be covered on commercial basis. The overall food supply is adequate at this time of the year. Markets are well supplies with maize and other staples such as Irish and sweet potatoes. Prices of maize started their seasonal increase in September, but remained at relatively low levels.
Harvest of the 1999 wheat crop is well advanced. Reflecting an increase in the area planted, official forecasts point to an output of 320 000 tonnes, a significant increase on last year, also a record. However, unseasonable widespread rains in the last week of October disrupted harvesting operations. If they persist, they may result in crop and quality losses. At the forecast level of production, only limited quantities of imported wheat, to improve the flour quality, will be necessary next year. Rains in late October improved soil conditions for planting of the 1999/2000 coarse grains, mainly maize, and favoured the early planted crops. The 1999 maize output was estimated at 1.52 million tonnes, higher than the reduced crop of the previous year but well below average. Production was adversely affected by excessive rains during the season. Imports of maize in marketing year1999/2000 (April/March) are estimated at 450 000 tonnes, mostly on commercial basis. Commercial imports of 200 000 tonnes were reported by the end of October. The food supply situation is tight in areas where a poor harvest was gathered and in urban areas due to sharply increased food prices and record levels of inflation.