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Drought-induced Stressed food insecurity expected through March in the south

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Angola
  • November 2013
Drought-induced Stressed food insecurity expected through March in the south

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook Through March 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Livestock conditions throughout the Southern Livestock, Millet and Sorghum livelihood zone are very poor and the protracted drought continues to negatively affect pasture and water availability for households that rely on the seasonal migration of livestock. In both Namibe and Cunene Province livestock migration occurred earlier, involved more animals, more people, and more time than usual.

    • The SARCOF outlook for the 2013/14 rainfall season is calling for normal to above-normal rains across the country. Sporadic and heavy rains have been recorded in the northeast part of Namibe (Bibala municipality) and north-central part of Huila Province. The start of season in the southern region is not projected to begin until mid-November.

    • The majority of households that stayed in their homesteads in drought affected provinces in the south are depending on government food assistance and the market for their basic food needs. Households in Namibe and Cunene Provinces are still facing Stressed acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 2), while pasture and water availability for households in Cuando Cubango are better and as a result of this assistance Minimal (IPC Phase 1!) food insecurity outcomes are projected through March. The national food security task force indicates that Government of Angola plans to continue food distribution in these three areas up until May 2014.


    Southern livestock, Millet and sorghum
    • Ongoing dry conditions continue to affect cattle negatively given that most drought affected areas do not have pasture regeneration or water for cattle. As a consequence most cattle are in poor condition, vulnerable to diseases, and not yet able to return to their areas of origin.

    • Cattle body conditions are not expected to improve until the normalization of the rainy season around early December – January period.

    • Current drought has forced pastoralists to travel long distances to look for grazing areas. These longer distances are expected to delay return to their homesteads until late December or early January instead of the normal return times between October and early December in normal years. 
    • The delay in the return of pastoralists to their homesteads will affect labor availability, which is expected to affect the area planted in the livelihood zone. This is expected to result in a reduction in the area cropped this season, which could reduce the volume of the green harvest. 


    Projected Outlook Through March 2014


    Currently, with the start of the rainy season in the majority of the country, most agricultural households are preparing the land for planting. Medium to large producers have already completed land preparation and are in the process of planting. The sale of inputs at a subsidized price has already begun in the surplus producing provinces. The private sector typically sells seeds and fertilizers on credit or in exchange for a portion of the harvest, while cash payment is required for farming tools and equipment.

    The start of agricultural production in Huila Province is expected to increase the demand for farm labor, which might increase income returns for some poor households in Huila that migrated from Namibe and Cunene. Huila, besides being the main producer and supplier of staple cereals to the Southern Livestock, Millet, and Sorghum livelihood zone, is also the main transhumant destination. This should improve access to green and staple food in local retail markets in late March. However, the majority of households in southern Huila, Namibe and Cunene are expected to continue generating income from the sale of small ruminants, pigs, and chickens.

    Area of Concern: The Southern Livestock, Millet, Sorghum Livelihood Zone

    Some households are getting their necessary inputs in exchange for a portion of their future harvests; however input availability is lower than usual. 

    The rainy season is expected to improve as the season progresses and this moisture is expected to improve pasture and water availability for animals between November and December. Consequently, cattle body conditions are expected to improve as the season progresses. Additionally, given that some areas in the affected zone started receiving some rains, pastoralists are expected to gradually start to move back to their areas of origin around late December-January. However, this phased return means that most pastoralists will not get into their homesteads in time to take part in the crucial agricultural activities such as soil preparation, planting, etc. The situation will be exacerbated by the low availability of inputs to take advantage of the rainy season. 

    The late return of pastoralists to their homesteads and the scarcity of inputs are expected to affect labor availability and overall household production for the 2013/14 season. Most likely this will result in very low cereal stocks from own production, thus continuing household reliance on market and government food assistance. However, the continued regular rainfall in most of Huila and parts of Namibe is expected to introduce a new dynamic in agricultural production. If rainfall performance continues to improve in these production areas, this might exert downward pressure on average market prices, improving poor household food access. Nevertheless, these prices are expected to continue within the average seasonal range, though at the lower end of the range.

    The majority of households currently in their homesteads in drought affected areas are depending on government food assistance and the market for their basic food needs. Given the amount of areas cultivated so far, along with low labor and input availability, the green harvest will be below average. Therefore, unlike Cuando Cubango where food assistance is effective and households are facing Minimal (IPC Phase 1!) acute food insecurity, most areas in Namibe and Cunene will continue to be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) until March. 


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    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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