Reference Date: 24-May-2017
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Cereal harvest in 2017 expected to remain unchanged as dryness in central producing areas constrains national output
Weaker currency sustains high inflation rates, despite some declines in recent months
Food security conditions expected to stabilize in previously drought-affected southern provinces
Food security conditions remain stressed in flood‑affected Cunene Province
Cereal crop production expected to remain unchanged in 2017
Harvesting of the 2017 cereal crops is ongoing, production prospects are mixed across the country with moderately improved outputs expected in the south and reduced harvests forecast in central areas.
In the main maize-producing central province of Huambo, which contributes to about one-third of the domestic maize output, persistent below-average rains between January and March 2017, a key yield-development phase for the maize crop, are likely to have constrained yields and lowered the harvested area. Similar conditions were also observed in neighbouring provinces, which are likely to have dampened the overall national maize output.
Further south, in the main millet and sorghum producing provinces of Cunene and Cuando Cubango, which were affected by drought conditions in 2016, seasonal precipitation was much improved compared to the previous year. Overall, despite some heavy rains caused localized flooding and adversely affected crops and livestock, cereal outputs in southern areas are expected at near-average levels in 2017.
Nationally, this year’s cereal output is forecast to remain close to the previous year’s near-average level, reflecting small production increases in southern provinces that are likely to compensate for some reductions in central areas.
Inflation rate remains at high level, but declined slightly in early 2017
The annual inflation rate was 38 percent in March 2017, although the rate had fallen since the start of the year. The weakened Kwanza, which lost about one-third of its value against the US dollar in 2016, has helped to sustain higher prices. However, the Government has implemented several measures to lessen the upward price pressure in 2016 including centralizing the sales of wheat flour, selling it directly to registered bakeries at a subsidized price. This contributed to stabilizing bread prices.
Food security in southern provinces expected to improve in most areas
With an expected recovery in the agricultural production in parts of the south, food security conditions are anticipated to stabilize in these areas. However, heavy rains along Cunene River, in Cunene Province, are expected to have negatively affected crop production and livestock health, with negative impact on food security conditions that will continue to remain stressed. In addition, seasonal dryness in central areas and the likely reduced harvests will adversely impact food availability and access in the affected areas.
The National Civil Protection Committee estimated that 1.2 million people were affected by the drought in 2016 of which an estimated 43 percent was considered to be food insecure.