Reference Date: 21-March-2016
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Cereal production in southern provinces expected to decline in 2016 due to drought conditions, but prospects more favourable in central and northern areas
Inflation rates increased sharply in 2015 and 2016, mostly driven by weakness of the Kwanza following a drop in oil prices
Severe food insecurity in southern provinces, on account of El Niño‑related drought conditions
Rainfall deficits in southern provinces reduce 2016 production prospects
Harvesting of the 2016 main season cereal crops is currently underway and is expected to be complete by June. Severe dry conditions in southern provinces, related to the current El Niño episode that has suppressed seasonal rainfall since October 2015, lowered production prospects for this year’s millet and sorghum crops, predominantly grown in the south. Further north, weather conditions have been generally beneficial in the large maize‑growing central provinces of Cuanza Sul, Huambo and Bie, which combined account for about two‑thirds of the national maize harvest. Production of maize in 2016 is, therefore, expected to remain close to the above‑average output of 2015, while outputs of millet and sorghum are forecast to decline.
Livestock conditions have also been negatively affected, with lack of adequate pasture and reduced water availability resulting in worsening body conditions and increased mortality rates.
Inflation rates continued to increase in 2016
Reductions in energy subsidies and the weakness of the national currency (Kwanza), mainly due to the sharp fall in oil prices, is continuing to sustain inflationary pressure. In February 2016, the annual inflation rate was about 20 percent, compared to 8 percent in the corresponding month of 2015. The increasing inflation rate instigated the Government to reportedly implement control measures to stem further price rises. Food items have been targeted under the new policy, including rice, milk and flour.
Acute food insecurity in southern provinces
An estimated 1.4 million people are currently food insecure in southern provinces, with Cunene, Huila and Namibe the worst affected. Ongoing drought conditions, which have had a severe adverse impact on crop and livestock production, is the main determinant of the current situation, while higher prices are further compounding the poor conditions. With many households reliant on agricultural production for their livelihoods, a consecutive poor season is expected to have a severe impact on food security conditions this year. In Cunene Province, the severe acute malnutrition rate is over 7 percent in children under five years old. The Government requested international assistance and the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) provided USD 5 million in February 2016 to respond to the severe food and nutrition security in the three most affected southern provinces.