Angola recently became Africa’s largest oil producer, however, this isn’t enough for the country, as it might even become an agricultural giant as well. In order for Angola to become an agricultural powerhouse in Africa, the whole sector will need to be transformed to achieve it, with a special focus placed on vulnerable aspects. Angola’s government is joining forces with the World Bank Group to be able to better implement these projects.
The current food industry in Angola
As Angola currently has plenty of arable lands combined with climate conditions suited for producing a wide variety of agricultural products. Historically speaking, Angola has been a huge producer and exporter of agricultural products, such as coffee, cotton and bananas. Unfortunately for the country, the civil war reduced these export significantly, just about completely stopping them as widespread destruction lead to the collapse of domestic production.
As of today, there are 35 million hectares of arable land in the country, out of which only 10% is being cultivated. However, there seems to be a change recently as agriculture’s share of the country’s economy grows extensively, averaging 4.9% a year. This leads to agriculture’s share of GDP virtually doubling from 5.8% to 10% between 2011 and 2017.
Irrigation in the country, just like the agriculture industry has a modest role within Angola, however, it could provide the sector with much-needed resilience against water-related risks.
Reason for transition and methods taken
There has been an increase in the country’s vulnerability to climate change as the number of climate shock events has been increasing. As we are writing this Angola is facing its most severe drought in the past 40 years, directly impacting 1.58 million people in the southern provinces with an economic impact of over 749 million USD through the agriculture, livestock and fisheries sectors. If this wasn’t enough, the country is also facing increased food prices – due to the Russo – Ukrainian war -.
Looking at the future, Angola needs to shift towards more climate-visioned investments and create reform programs to reach its development goals regarding climate change. This can be achieved through climate resilience and decarbonization of energy. If it keeps being unattended crops negatively impacted by it will jump from 4% to as high as 30% by 2050, while livestock would reach as high as 70% – from 40% -.
Estimated output and production increase
A 230 million USD investment was made by the Angola Commercial Agriculture Project, the World Bank and the French Agency for Development with goals to increase agricultural output and the market’s access to commercial farms. As of today, this led to 25 business plans being approved – 7.7 million USD in investments -. This was followed by a 300 million USD Smallholder Agricultural Transformation Project being approved by the World Bank in June of 2022. This project, starting in December 2022 will contribute to Agnola’s transitional efforts into climate-resilient farming. In addition, they also started a 300 million USD worth of Climate Resilience and Water Security Project which will improve water supplies and strengthen their water resource management. This will result in increased production, leading to further surplus resulting in expansion.
One such project is started by the International Fund for Agricultural Development of the United Nations, which announced in 2021 a new project to boost agricultural productivity in the country, hopefully improving nutrition security. This project ended up aiding over 220,000 families in Angola, within the rural areas, where 50% of poor people live, who heavily rely on subsistence agriculture. As over 40% of the population works in the agricultural sector improving it is vital to reduce poverty and improve food security. This was followed by an initiative to introduce drought-tolerant crops and harvest rainwater. This combined with the earlier discussed increased access to water and climate-resilient farming will significantly increase the output of the industry.
If these steps are implemented well, it will lead to increased resilience, and food security and will transform Angola into a less import-dependent country while making potentially it the centre of agriculture on the continent. As food security should be available for everyone, it is all of our duty to aid whoever we can, however, we can. The local government with financial aid from foreign institutions is taking significant steps to abolish food insecurity in Angola, however, there is still a long way to go for them.
- WORLD BANK (2022): “Angola’s agricultural sector could become Africa’s powerhouse. Here’s why” I https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/09/angola-agricultural-sector-powerhouse-of-africa/
- FIELD EXCHANGE (2022): “Angola agricultural programmes” I https://www.ennonline.net/fex/5/angola
- LANDPORTAL (2021): “Angola,IFAD to promote sustainable agric” I https://landportal.org/news/2021/08/angolaifad-promote-sustainable-agric