Skip to main content

Dry March reduces harvest prospects in southern Angola

  • Key Message Update
  • Angola
  • March 2024
Dry March reduces harvest prospects in southern Angola

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • Southern Angola experienced a dry March, recording around half of the long-term average rainfall for the month. As such, due to El Niño cumulative rainfall since the start of the 2023/24 rainy season is 60-75 percent of the 40-year average in Cuando Cubango and southern Moxico, and 75-90 percent of the 40-year average in Cunene, Huila, Bie, and much of Moxico. The resultant low soil moisture is expected to negatively impact the main harvest, which is projected to be below average. Although the southeastern areas rely on sorghum and cassava, typically more drought tolerant than maize, the very low March rainfall warrants increased monitoring as it may reduce harvests of these and other crops.
    • Herd sizes will likely be negatively affected by the current and projected above-average temperatures and poor vegetation cover in most southern areas. In Cunene’s dense livestock zone, grazing conditions are declining, with vegetation greenness around 70-90 percent of the 2012-2021 average by the end of March, according to the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). During the upcoming dry season, lower-than-normal access to pasture will likely result in some pastoralist households preemptively selling livestock to maximize earnings and avoid losses through disease or poor health, with the Ministry of Agriculture already reporting increased livestock sales.
    • In southern Angola, poor households’ income from agricultural labor opportunities is likely to be lower than normal as the harvest begins due to lower than normal nacas (flood recession planting), low replanting, and lower than normal casual labor demand. An increase in reliance on remittances is expected for poor households with members living in urban areas, while poor households without members in urban areas are likely to increase their reliance on other members in the community for food, on opportunities to engage in work-for-food programs, and on community gardens (with FRESAN, for example).
    • The anticipated below-average harvest is putting upward pressure on food prices, driven also by limits on the supply of basic staple foods such as maize, rice, and potatoes to local markets following the import reduction and substitution policy. There is reportedly lower than normal seasonal trade with markets in Luanda for some crops, such as beans, potatoes, and maize from Bie, Huambo, and Huila provinces, leading to reduced income for producers and higher consumer prices. The official food basket price index in March is around 15 percent higher than last year. In February, headline inflation rose for the tenth straight month to 24 percent due to a weaker AOA and the removal of fuel subsidies in June 2023. Food price speculation is increasing as market supply from traders is lower than normal as the harvest nears. 
    • In southern Angola, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes will likely remain in the post-harvest period as limited income-earning opportunities from agricultural labor, below-average agricultural production, and high and increasing food prices keep household access to food lower than normal. Poor households in southern Angola will likely continue relying on support from their community, food assistance programs from government and other NGOs, and hunting and wild products to minimize food consumption gaps during the projection period. However, at least one in five households across the rest of Angola will likely remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) supported by higher coping capacity and better food availability.

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Angola Key Message Update March 2024: Dry March reduces harvest prospects in southern Angola, 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.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top