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Across most of the country, rural households face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes as they continue consuming their own production from the 2021/22 harvest. In parts of Namibe, Cunene, and Huìla provinces, poor households are experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) conditions after facing consecutive poor harvests, depleted food reserves, declining herd sizes, and limited income opportunities due to drought.
As of late October, a normal seasonal onset of rains has occurred across most of the country, except for the coastal strip and the lower southern areas. Average rainfall is likely across much of Angola from October to December. The cost of fertilizer continues to rise, keeping it out of the reach of many poor households for the 2022/23 agricultural season. Subsidized fertilizer is improving access for farmers limited by elevated fertilizer prices.
Oil revenues continue to bolster the exchange rate of the kwanza, allowing the government to increase food subsidies and curb imported inflation for food items. These measures have resulted in declining or stabilizing prices for REA food products, including beans, soybean oil, maize flour, sugar, wheat flour, chicken, and rice.
From November 2022 to May 2023, poor households in parts of the southwest will continue intensifying their typical livelihoods strategies earlier than normal due to the depletion of their food reserves and significantly below-average income from the 2021/22 harvesting labor. Many pastoral households that migrated with their livestock for better pastures have yet to return to their homes and may not participate in land preparation and planting for the 2022/23 season. As more households continue to rely on markets, lower-than-normal purchasing power will continue to drive Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes in these areas throughout the outlook period. Food insecurity is expected to improve slightly in January as some households begin to access horticultural harvests, and during the main harvest period in the southwest (March-May 2023).
Most rural households across the country are facing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes as they deplete their 2021/22 production from September-October and start purchasing subsidized products through January 2023. However, poor households in the southwest, spanning the Southern livestock, millet, and sorghum (A03) and Southern Highlands Agro-pastoral (A04) livelihood zones, are facing consecutive poor harvests, depleted food reserves, declining herd sizes, and limited income opportunities due to drought. Additionally, many households have yet to return to their original homesteads in time to prepare for the 2022/23 agricultural season. Currently, poor households in the southwest are experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes.
According to the latest forecast, average rainfall is likely across much of Angola from October to December. Anecdotal reports indicate that land preparation activities began in September in northern and central parts of the country and are ongoing. As of mid-October, parts of the north and central regions of the country have experienced an onset of seasonal rains (Figure 1). However, the coastal strip and the lower southern areas are experiencing some delays in the onset of rains. Much of Benguela province is showing slight rainfall deficits for this time of the year, which could negatively affect pasture conditions for nomadic pastoralists from Namibe. In eastern Benguela and northern Cunene, sorghum and millet crops have been planted and are expected to recover at the onset of rains later in the season. Despite the start of the rainy season, there is no indication of the return of many pastoral households that migrated with their livestock in search of better pastures.
In September, the Ministry of Agriculture began distributing 10kg of maize, 5kg of sorghum, and 10kg of millet seeds, in preparation for the 2022/23 planting season. In central, northern, and southeastern provinces, the distribution of seeds and incentives is increasing the area planted for the season and improving labor demand. However, poor rural households unable to receive seeds through this program will likely rely on using reserve seeds from the previous season or purchasing seeds from the market.
Multiple food items subsidized and distributed by the REA are available for purchase by consumers in outlets. Between August and September, the price of wheat flour (8.2Kz), corn flour (6.0Kz), and rice (7.1Kz) was sustained. Soybean oil decreased slightly from 11.1Kz to 10. 7Kz, while the price of sugar, chicken, and beans increased from 0.5-2 percent (Figure 2).
Headline annual inflation continues a downward trend, decreasing from 19.8 percent in August to 18.2 percent in September due to the stabilization of the kwanza and fuel prices as well as the slowdown in global food prices. To protect against further external inflationary shocks, the Central Bank of Angola has decided to reduce the benchmark tax rate from 20 to 19.5 percent. As a result, inflation is expected to gradually subside during the outlook period. The Central bank also cut the policy interest rate in September and plans to cut this rate further in future policy meetings.
Above-average rainfall is expected in January 2023 across most of the country due to the expected La Niña conditions. However, close monitoring of rainfall performance in December and January is needed to determine the growth of main season crops. Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes are expected to continue across most parts of the country from November 2022 to May 2023. In the southwest, poor households in Cunene, Huila, and Namibe will face livelihood protection and food deficits due to the weakening health and size of their herds and limited income for market purchases. During this period, poor households will be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), requiring humanitarian food assistance. On average, food prices typically increase between December and January. However, given the poor 2021/22 cropping season in the southwest, prices are expected to increase in these areas in October and November, limiting poor household purchasing power due to low incomes and contributing to food consumption deficits during the Outlook period. Households will likely intensify their livelihood coping strategies by selling more animals than usual, collecting wild fruit, and producing alcoholic beverages. Food insecurity is expected to improve slightly in January as some households begin to access horticultural harvests and from March to May 2023, during the main harvest period in the southwest.
SEASONAL CALENDAR FOR A TYPICAL YEAR
Source: FEWS NET
Figure 1. Seasonal onset of rains, October 20, 2022
Source: FEWS NET
Figure 2. Monthly price trends of subsidized food items, March-September 2022.
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