Project to create platforms for public-private dialogue in the main agricultural chains is completed in Angola

25 March, 2024

Incatema has completed a technical assistance project in Angola to promote public-private and private-private dialogue among the different agents involved in the country's main agricultural production chains, with special emphasis on the coffee, grain and poultry production chains. The project has been financed by the World Bank and the French Development Agency.

Through this project, which is part of Angola's Commercial Agriculture Development Program (PDAC), Incatema has held 13 sectoral meetings with the participation of representatives of various institutions such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Provincial Government, research institutes and private sector agents (producers, input suppliers, processors, logisticians, etc.), among others. All of them emphasised the importance of collaboration to boost economic diversification and agricultural productivity in Angola.

The established dialogue platforms will have a positive influence on Angola's agricultural sector by identifying challenges, opportunities and strategies for the development of action plans for each agricultural value chain. They have also strengthened producer unity by facilitating the exchange of knowledge, best practices and innovations in each of the production chains involved.

Study of the main strategic crops for the country's agricultural development

As part of the same project, which is now coming to an end, Incatema has carried out four studies on strategic agricultural value chains for Angola's agricultural development.

According to Mrs. Ana González Altozano, technical director of the project at Incatema, "although Angola has established food self-sufficiency as one of its national priorities, the country continues to rely heavily on imports. The deficit in agricultural production is of growing concern to the Angolan Government, as it forces the State to resort to the external market, spending significant amounts of foreign currency and thus weakening the position of its reserves". And the fact is that, according to data from the Central Bank, in 2022 Angola imported more than two billion dollars in food, representing an increase of 40% compared to 2021. Vegetable oil, at $589 million (and over 350,000 tons) in 2022, is one of the most imported food products in the country, along with rice, sugar, wheat and chicken.

One of the main studies carried out by Incatema has been the rice value chain, which we have already reported on here, and whose main conclusion is that the country, in order to alleviate the deficit in rice production, needs a strong financial and technological investment for the development of large agro-industrial farms with a high-tech production system that includes processing.

Tropicalised wheat, a new variety adapted to the local climate

Regarding wheat cultivation, the study concludes that this cereal has not been as profitable and competitive in Angola as maize. At present, Angola's wheat production of just 10,000 tons can be considered insignificant as it represents a self-sufficiency rate of only 1.4%. Wheat is part of a chain with large volumes but little added value, and is currently undergoing a phase of important redefinition with the appearance in the sector, albeit at an incipient and experimental level, of "tropicalised wheat" varieties adapted to the tropical climate. The appearance on the market of these new varieties of this cereal opens new perspectives and new horizons for the wheat value chain in Angola, whose major limitation is the very low level of production and productivity, and the low profitability compared to corn, the crop that continues to dominate the cereal sector in Angola.

The development of the value chains studied, a key element for focusing on the development of commercial agriculture in Angola

Finally, the study on palm oil shows that Angola urgently needs to develop a strategy to reduce its dependence on vegetable oil imports. After analysing different scenarios, including soybean and sunflower oil alternatives, it is concluded that the development of a modern value chain for palm oil, including production and refining on an industrial scale, although theoretically possible, is difficult to achieve in Angola. This is due to the great dispersion and fragmentation of the existing palm oil plantations in the territory, their low productivity and the impossibility of creating new plantations without resorting to deforestation. Low productivity is the result of agro-climatic conditions that are not ideal for palm cultivation in Angola, where rainfall is concentrated in only a few months of the year, discouraging potential international investors. In addition, the dispersion and limited number of monocultures make it difficult to develop business models based on "anchor" processing units supplied by several nearby plantations.