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Green harvests slightly below average due to late and irregular rains

  • Key Message Update
  • Angola
  • January 2024
Green harvests slightly below average due to late and irregular rains

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Although cumulative national rainfall has improved to be average as of January, the late and varied pattern of rain is negatively affecting crop growth, and green harvests are expected to be slightly below average. The green harvests in select areas of Cuando Cubango and Cunene are also below average as the result of the heavy rains, which caused localized flooding of river valley bottoms that were planted during the delayed start of the season. Overall, the success of the main harvest will be especially dependent on February to April rainfall. Higher than average rainfall in the typically dry Southwest is expected to slightly alleviate pressure on agropastoralists to move livestock out of the region towards other areas of more abundant water and forage.
    • The January-February green harvest in southern Angola has also been negatively affected by late planting and poor seed quality. Most smallholder farmers in the south of Angola planted late due to the late onset of rains and the need to conserve seeds stocks, which have not recovered to normal levels. In eastern Huila, southwest Cunene, and western Cuando Cubango, a significant proportion of farmers either have stunting crops or are just starting to till the land. Keeping seeds longer also reduced their germinative potential. This lower crop production is expected to in turn reduce income generating opportunities during the May-June crop harvest.
    • The monthly food inflation rate continued to increase in December to 2.83 percent, led by Luanda at 3.83 percent and driven by concern over food import restrictions, the devalued exchange rate, and ongoing reductions in subsidies to fuel prices. To counteract such rises, a late-December law reduced VAT on staples from 14 percent to 5 percent. Concerns continue about speculative forces affecting market prices. Price increases in markets accessed by most households with limited income result in lower access to food and non-food products.
    • Monitoring is warranted around the heavily populated central highlands breadbasket of Huambo and Bie Provinces where rainfall is below average. Rainfall in these areas was approximately 100 mm less than average in January, and cumulative seasonal rainfall is now around 650 mm, 75 percent of the 2000-2018 mean. The Water Requirement Satisfaction Index for maize suggests conditions are currently good for a favorable harvest, though this will depend on rainfall from February to April, which is forecasted to be below average. Because these two provinces produce 45 percent of Angola’s maize, a reduced main harvest would put upward pressure on food prices.
    • With lean season food stocks being depleted, early season harvests slightly below average, lower than average rains forecasted, and price increases continuing, the worst affected households in the areas of concern in southern Angola are expected to still experience Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes until the main harvests begin in May 2024, at which point such households are expected to experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Angola Key Message Update January 2024: Green harvests slightly below average due to late and irregular rains, 2024.

    This Key Message Update provides a high-level analysis of current acute food insecurity conditions and any changes to FEWS NET's latest projection of acute food insecurity outcomes in the specified geography. Learn more here.

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