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Crop losses in southwestern Angola from consecutive droughts

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Angola
  • April 2022
Crop losses in southwestern Angola from consecutive droughts

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  • Key Messages
  • PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2022
  • Key Messages
    • Well distributed and average to above-average rainfall in central and northern Angola throughout the current 2021/2022 agricultural season will put national crop production above last year’s and near the five-year average due to increased yields. Income from agricultural labor is likely to be average.

    • In southern Angola, last year’s (2020/2021) agricultural season faced one of the worst droughts in the last 40 years, negatively impacting livelihoods and food security. This year’s rainfall (2021/2022) was slow to start and inconsistent, and after several consecutive months of below-average performance, moisture and rainfall deficits define the conditions in the southwest provinces, in particular: Namibe, Cunene, and parts of Huíla. Crop production and pastoral activities will be compromised and, therefore, income from harvesting labor is expected to be significantly below average.

    • A reduction in inflation over the past several months is strengthening the value of the Kwanza, as well as increasing purchasing power for consumers, which allows the government to reduce the cost of imported goods to consumers. The recent rise in oil prices is boosting export revenues, which is likely to eventually generate new skilled employment opportunities, along with increased government spending. A renewed flow of economic activities is expected in the wake of pandemic restrictions.

    • Due to consecutive droughts over the past two agricultural seasons, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes are likely to persist until at least May 2022, when the harvest brings moderate improvements. Cunene, Huíla, Namibe, and Cuando Cubango are of highest concern, where poor households have limited to no access to own-produced crops and are entirely reliant on markets, yet with lower-than-normal purchasing power.

    • From June to September, in Namibe, Cunene, and southern Huíla where production prospects are very poor, households will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes. With production prospects relatively better in Cuando Cubango, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected with the arrival of the harvest.

    ZONECURRENT ANOMALIESPROJECTED ANOMALIES
    National

    High oil prices have led to increased government spending and higher export revenues.

    High oil prices are expected to boost economic performance during the projection period following several years of recession, potentially generating skilled employment opportunities and expanding government spending on infrastructure, health, and education services.

     Recent relaxation of COVID 19 restrictionsFewer limitations on population movement will enable renewed economic activities.
    Namibe, Huíla and Cunene provinces

    Ongoing 2021/2022 rainy season of above-average temperatures combined with below-average and erratically distributed precipitation.

    Households will likely deplete their food stocks up to a month earlier than normal in southwest provinces due to crop failure for the 2021/2022 agricultural season and from previous drought conditions.

     In rural areas, poor households are likely earning lower than average income from agricultural labor activities given less planted area from below average rainfall.For areas that experienced consecutive weeks of below average rainfall leading to overall below average cumulative rainfall and hence reduced production, incomes from harvesting labor are expected to be significantly below average. Consequently, income from cultivation labor during the Nacas season (May to September), which relies on flood recession for cultivation, will also be significantly below average for these areas. 

     


    PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2022

    Most crops for the 2021/2022 agricultural season are already in the maturation and harvesting stages across the country. Harvests are continuing in the north and in parts of central Angola, with the consumption of green food already taking place in southern Angola. Given the delay in the start of the rainy season, the main harvest began 10 to 40 days later than normal, however national crop production is expected to be above last year’s and near the five-year average due to increased yields.

    Although early season precipitation was below average and erratically distributed, near average rainfall from January to March 2022 allowed households with short-cycle seed availability to replant across Angola’s southern provinces. These households are likely to harvest crops as long as rainfall continues in the coming months. However, a significantly below-average to failed harvest is likely in Namibe, Cunene, and in the southern areas of Huíla province given the consecutive droughts and poor 2021/2022 rainy season (Figure 1). Although these harvests will slightly improve food security for some households in these provinces, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are still likely to persist throughout the scenario period as production will be relatively low. Consequently, income from cultivation labor during the Nacas season (May to September), which relies on flood recession for cultivation, will also be significantly below average for these areas.

    Vegetation in Namibe and Cunene provinces was sparse after months of below average rainfall but has recently started to increase alongside improvements in rainfall since mid-February 2022 (Figure 2). Although it will start greening earlier in Cunene, pasture availability in both provinces is still below the median, likely indicating poorer than normal livestock conditions, which could adversely affect the production of meat and milk for sale, as well as for own consumption for pastoralists.

    Purchasing power for households in Angola has gradually been strengthening over the last several months. The annual inflation rate slowed to a four-month low of 27 percent in March, the third such slowdown since January 2022 (Figure 3). On a monthly basis, consumer prices rose 1.56 percent, however the least since January 2021, following a 1.77 percent gain in the prior month. Monthly inflation also slowed down for the fourth month in a row, which allows the local currency to keep its value while consumers retain the spending power of their incomes. In March 2022, the Kwanza strengthened to 460 Kwanza to the U.S. dollar (Figure 4), its strongest level since Nov 2019, generating a lowered consumer cost of imported goods and increasing purchasing power.

    The recent rise in oil prices has had a variety of impacts on the Angolan economy. Exports in Angola increased almost 14 percent from the third to the fourth quarter of 2021. This is in sharp contrast to low export revenues (3.45 billion USD) from the second quarter of 2020 when the pandemic was causing a global decline in industrial production and a fall in oil prices. As part of the economic recovery after lifting COVID-19 restrictions, export revenues have steadily increased and recently surged due to the current spike in global oil prices. Increased exports (10.02 billion USD in Q4 2021 compared to 8.8 billion USD in Q3 2021), compared to a 0.10 billion USD decrease in imports during the same period, has generated a significant surplus, allowing Angola to comfortably cover import costs and even expand government spending. This current surplus is aiding Angola’s economic recovery likely by leading to new skilled employment opportunities in the oil industry and other economic activities previously hindered by COVID 19. The impact on poor households will potentially be through favorable consumer prices in the markets, as well as improvements to infrastructure, health, and education services from expanded government spending.

    In Cunene, Huíla, Namibe, and Cuando Cubango provinces, where poor households have limited to no access to own-produced crops and are entirely reliant on markets, yet with lower-than-normal purchasing power, households will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes until at least May 2022. From June to September, Namibe, Cunene, and southern Huíla will face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes given the poor production prospects. In Cuando Cubango, production prospects are relatively better and Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are expected with the arrival of the harvest.

    Figures SEASONAL CALENDAR FOR A TYPICAL YEAR

    Figure 1

    SEASONAL CALENDAR FOR A TYPICAL YEAR

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1. Water Requirements Satisfaction Index (WRSI) for maize as of April 20, 2022

    Figure 2

    Figure 1.

    Source: FEWS NET/USGS

    Figure 2. Seasonal rainfall distribution in Namibe province as of April 20, 2022

    Figure 3

    Figure 2.

    Source: FEWS NET/USGS

    Figure 3. Annual and monthly inflation rates from January 2018 to March 2022

    Figure 4

    Figure 3.

    Source: FEWSNET FDW, 2022

    Figure 4.  Monthly exchange rate of Angola Kwanza per U.S. dollar, December 2012 to March 2022

    Figure 5

    Figure 4.

    Source: FEWSNET FDW, 2022

    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

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