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Poor start to the rainy season to negatively affect agricultural labor availability

  • Key Message Update
  • Angola
  • November 2023
Poor start to the rainy season to negatively affect agricultural labor availability

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  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages
    • As the agricultural season gets underway in much of central and southern Angola, early-season rainfall deficits are negatively affecting planting and seed germination. As of November 20, less than 100 mm of rainfall have been received across the south, corresponding to a deficit of around 10 to 50 mm. The deficits of 25-50 mm are most concerning in Huila, Cunene, and the western half of Cuando Cubango, where agricultural production is relatively higher than in the largely uninhabited far southeast. Little rainfall has been received in the far southwest (Namibe), though this is fairly typical through mid-November for this area. Overall soil moisture is only 60 to 80 percent of normal, leading to lower-than-normal agricultural land preparation, which is likely to drive fewer agricultural labor opportunities.
    • Most poor households in the south have depleted their food stocks from own production and, as the November to April lean season progresses, food access will further decline. As a result, it is likely therapeutic feeding centers will see an increase in the number of people seeking support. The Ministry of Social Action, Family, and Promotion of Women (MASFAMU) suggests the government may increase social assistance programs to address this need, though no specifics have been provided. It is more likely that increased assistance will occur next year, given the increased funds allocated to the social support and protection budgets. There was also a removal of import tariffs on supplies used in therapeutic feeding centers, and key informants reported increased cooperation between the government and NGOs in staffing and stocking these centers.
    • According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and as reported by local and international news sources, new policies that may restrict the renewal of import licenses were set to go into effect in January 2024. Under these policies, the Angolan government would effectively limit or prevent the import of around 150 basic foods as a means to encourage local production. While the policies were not expected to take effect until early 2024, ground information suggests many importers are already seeing their licenses revoked or not renewed.  
    • Headline information in October increased to 16.58 percent, up from 15.01 percent in September, with food and alcoholic beverages being the highest contributors to the increase. This represents a slight decrease from last year, though ground information would suggest that inflation in informal markets, where most poor households acquire their products, is much higher at upwards of 30 percent. In response, the government raised policy rates by 100 points to 18 percent.
    • FEWS NET’s analysis of acute food insecurity remains as detailed in the October 2023 Remote Monitoring Report. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely across much of the south, where consecutive years of drought have resulted in very poor crop production and among very poor households in urban centers amid persistently rising food prices. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected through the April peak of the lean season, and food security improvements are anticipated starting in May with the cereal harvest. While FEWS NET’s projection period currently extends through May 2024, there is early concern for the 2024-2025 lean season given the likelihood of a poor agricultural season in 2024, driven by El Niño induced low rainfall

    Recommended citation: FEWS NET. Angola Key Message Update November 2023: Poor start to the rainy season to negatively affect agricultural labor availability, 2023.

    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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