Angolans consume an annual average of 400,000 tonnes of rice and produce only 25,000, importing the remainder. In terms of meat, the situation is similar. To revert it, the country needs investors.
“A good opportunity for those who want to invest”, the National Director of Agriculture, José Carlos Bettencourt, said at an Angola-Italy forum on agribusiness in Luanda this week.
Angola is consuming an annual average of 400,000 tonnes of rice, and producing just 25,000 tonnes, or 6% of the total, and importing the remainder, said the country’s national director of agriculture said in Luanda late on Thursday.
José Carlos Bettencourt, who was speaking in Luanda at the agribusiness forum, noted that soybeans also showed a similar pattern: Angola produces only 30,000 tonnes, for estimated needs of between 220 and 230,000 tonnes per year.
To reverse the situation Angola, “which has good climate conditions, enormous amounts of water and areas of arable land,” needs “only investors” in a wide range of agricultural segments, Bettencourt said, noting, for example, that the difference between rice produced and what is consumed in the country “is a good business opportunity for those who want to invest.”
Regarding subsidies for the agricultural sector, the National Director of Agriculture said that a diploma will soon be issued on the number of subsidies granted to farmers and entrepreneurs.
“We need to solve the problem of credit to agriculture because the State cannot subsidise the benefits on all products, but only the priority crops for domestic production and for export,” he argued.
Bettencourt noted that those who will benefit from subsidies are farmers and companies that have a strong focus on production, especially seeds and other agricultural inputs.
He added that Angola spends US$66 million (€58 million) every year on chicken imports, which is a significant decrease compared to figures released by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2016.
That year, figures showed that Angola spent an estimated US$450 million (€395.6 million) on importing 360,000 tonnes of chicken.
Bettencourt, who spoke briefly on the subject, did not specify the domestic production of chicken, but, similarly to what former agricultural minister Afonso Pedro Canga said in 2016, the national director called for an increase in private investment in this area to reduce meat imports.
The Angola-Italy Forum on Agribusiness was promoted by the Private Investment and Export Promotion Agency, in partnership with the Italian Trade Agency, with the participation of several Angolan companies and seven Italian companies from the sector.