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Extreme dryness reduces projected cereal harvest in the south

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Angola
  • May 2015
Extreme dryness reduces projected cereal harvest in the south

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook Through September 2015
  • Key Messages
    • Below average seasonal rainfall in some high producing areas of Huila Province is reducing cereal availability and is uncharacteristically pushing up food prices in most southern markets in the country. Higher than normal prices and reduced availability of subsidized cereals are contributing to decreased purchasing power among poor households, limiting the items that households can acquire in the market.

    • Torrential rains have caused around a 40 percent loss of the planted area in Ganda and Cubal in the Benguela Province; while prolonged dryness caused around a 60 and 80 percent loss of the cereals planted in western Huila and Cunene Provinces, respectively. As a result, prices of maize meal have increased 20 percent in Cunene when compared to the previous month.

    • The increased dryness in the region is making many usual sources of income such as charcoal production, agricultural labor, and sale of cereals is unfeasible. Therefore, it is expected that the resulting decrease in cereal supplies from Huila to Namibe and Cunene Provinces will contribute to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes sooner than projected earlier due to increased food prices between May and September. 

    ZonesCurrent AnomaliesProjected Anomalies
    Southern Livestock, Millet, Sorghum Livelihood zoneThe protracted dryness in the western part of Cunene is reducing household access to food and job opportunities for the poorest in the region. This is forcing local households in the Curoca area to temporarily move across the border to Namibia in order to seek emergency assistance. 

    The reduced job availability coupled with expectation of reduced food stocks might worsen food security outcomes sooner than expected in this region. 

    Sub humid livestock and maize zone

    Significant decreases in rainfall in April has reduced harvest expectations for beans, sorghum, millet, and maize in the western part of the region. As a result bean prices have increased by 36 percent in the last month, affecting access poor household access.

    The decrease in production of beans and cereals will negatively affect supplies in Huila and in the deficit producing regions of Cunene and Namibe, resulting in unseasonably higher prices. This will further reduce the capacity of the poorest to access food in the region.

     


    Projected Outlook Through September 2015
    National

    Even though there are some projected decreases in cereal and bean production in Huila Province, it is still expected that this agricultural season’s harvest will be 31 percent higher than average, but a little bit lower than the 2013-2014 harvest. It is expected that much of the decreased production in Huila Provinces will be covered by the other central provinces including Huambo, Cuanza Sul, and Bie. However, the increased food prices caused by higher demand in Lubango, will make the supply of these commodities to deficit provinces, including Namibe and Cunene, very expensive.

    Areas of Concern: Southern Livestock, Millet, Sorghum Livelihood zone and Sub humid livestock and maize zone
    • In areas of Benguela Province affected by flooding, people in Lobito and surrounding areas have been assisted; however, those in the areas of Cubal and Ganda who have also been affected by flooding are yet to receive any assistance. According to World Vision, it is estimated that around 40 percent of the crops in both areas have been lost due to the heavy rainfall. Limited poor household stocks, the inexistence of strategic official grain reserves and limited household stocks suggests that poor households will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) much earlier than originally expected.
    • Even though the high producing areas of Chipindo, Jamba, and Cuvango did receive good rains and are expected to have good production, the areas of Quilengues, Lubango, Humpata, Chibia, and Gambos in Huila Province experienced almost 95 percent losses in bean crops and around 60 percent losses of maize crops due to poor rains and poor moisture retention of the soils in this region. It is expected that the dramatic crop losses in parts of the province might make the overall production levels lower than the previous season.
    • In Namibe Province, local Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI) officers are still expecting production to be higher than the previous agricultural season for cereals and horticultural crops since cropping conditions were okay in this province. However, local maize meal prices have increased by 10 percent since last month, which is believed to be reflecting the lower supplies from Huila.
    • After initially receiving good rains in most of March and encouraging local populations to plant again, rainfall levels decreased dramatically in April. Thus, the majority of crops replanted in March dried up in the field before maturity, wiping out all expected cereal gains in the province. Currently, even though harvests are expected to be above average, this season is expected to be worse than 2013-14 agricultural season. The resulting decrease in supply of cereals, coupled with Huila’s decreased in production is uncharacteristically pushing prices up in local markets in the province. Considering that poorest households used their last stocks and resources to replant, it is estimated that access to food will extremely limited and acute food security outcomes will be worsened. 

    About Remote Monitoring

    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. More here

    Figures Seasonal Calendar

    Figure 1

    Seasonal Calendar

    Source: Fews Net

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. Cumulative 2014-15 rainfall estimates (RFE), Cunene Province.

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 3

    Source:

    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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