Reference Date: 11-August-2016
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Cereal production in southern provinces forecast at well‑below average levels in 2016 due to drought, but harvests more favourable in central and northern areas
High rates of inflation continue, mostly on account of weakness of Kwanza following a drop in oil prices
Food insecurity deteriorates severely in southern provinces, due to impact of El Niño‑related drought, with higher food prices further compounding situation
Drought conditions depress 2016 cereal production
The 2016 cereal harvest was completed in July, but official production estimates are not yet available. Severe dry conditions associated with the 2015/16 El Niño episode mainly affected southern provinces, in particular Cuene and Cuando Cubango, which are two of the main-producing sorghum and millet provinces. The large‑maize producing areas in central provinces (Cuanza Sul, Huambo and Bie) received more beneficial rains, limiting production declines compared to southern areas. As a result, the national maize output is expected to remain at an above-average level, however, outputs of sorghum and millet in 2016 are anticipated to be lower than the average.
Livestock conditions were also negatively affected, with lack of adequate pasture and reduced water availability resulting in poor body conditions and increased mortality rates. Stressed livestock conditions are expected to continue until the start of the next rainy season, forecast to begin in October.
High inflation rates persist
The weakness of the national currency (Kwanza), which depreciated by about 30 percent on a yearly basis in August 2016, mainly due to the sharp fall in oil prices, has contributed to a surge in prices. As of June 2016, the year‑on‑year inflation rate was estimated at 29 percent, with rising food prices contributing to the high rates. The poor 2016 agricultural output has added inflationary pressure, as a result of tighter domestic food supplies. In response, the Government implemented measures to stem further price rises of basic commodities including rice, milk and flour.
Acute food insecurity in southern provinces
An estimated 755 930 people are projected to be food insecure during the peak of the lean season (January‑March 2017), while an estimated 75 593 persons require immediate emergency food assistance. The drought is the main determinant of the current situation, while higher prices, which have constrained food access, are further compounding the poor conditions. With many households reliant on agricultural production for their livelihoods in southern provinces, a second consecutive poor season is expected to have eroded their productive capacity and assistance is required. The Government and partner organisations have estimated that USD 56 million is required to provide support to the food and agriculture sector.