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A slow start to the agricultural season has been recorded across much of the country, with below-average rainfall recorded in the west and southwest. However, early-season deficits are not of significant concern, and average rainfall is forecast between January and May. With a relatively favorable season expected, the area planted is likely to be greater than last year and near average. However, crop production in southwest Angola is still expected to be slightly below average as some pastoral households, who engage in low levels of crop production, are not returning to plant crops due to absence of water for cattle. Low seed availability among those who remain in the area, due to reliance on past seasons for seeds, will also negatively affect the area planted.
Ongoing planting for the main season overlaps with the agricultural lean season, when poor households’ food stocks are low and market demand and food prices increase. The Strategic Food Reserve (REA) has been increasing the supply of cereals, beans, oil, and sugar in most main markets to help counter the effect of increased demand. However, it is still expected that the population facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will increase during the lean season. Of highest concern is the Southwest. Once the harvest is available between late April and mid-June, poor households facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will likely improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2).
Over the past month, the headline inflation declined from 16.68 percent to 15.24 percent, and the exchange rate declined from 509 AOA/USD to 504 AOA/USD. Although declining, high inflation continues to put upward pressure on food prices, which are roughly 23 percent above the five-year average and have increased 13 percent since January. Additionally, there are reports of increased availability of cattle and goats for sale in informal markets in Namibe, which signals poor households – who more commonly sell in these markets - are likely increasingly livestock sales to fund food purchases. This has likely contributed to the atypical decrease in the sale price of young cattle from around 210,000 AOA in early November to 180,000 AOA in December.
This Key Message Update provides a broad summary of FEWS NET's current and projected analysis of likely acute food insecurity outcomes in this geography. Learn more about our work here.