Prospects for the upcoming 1998 harvests are generally favourable in most parts of the country. Following widespread rains in January and February in many areas, crops are generally in good condition, especially in the cereal producing central highlands. However, a few areas of concern include the province of Kuando Kubango, where output may be reduced as a result of delayed rains, and Zaire province where the December-January period was very dry.
With the arrival of early planted crops on the markets and expectations for a good harvest, prices of maize and beans have dropped significantly on major markets such as Huambo. The food supply situation and marketing activities will continue to be hampered in several parts of the country by the security situation which remains uncertain and unstable. An FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission is currently making an on-the-spot assessment of the harvest outcome and the cereal import requirements, including food aid needs for 1998/99.