Agriculture in Angola grew 5.6% in the 2021/2022 crop year, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry announced today, considering that the result reflects satisfactory production growth levels, "albeit timid".
António de Assis referred that in the 2021/2022 agricultural year the sector registered a production growth of 5.6%, compared to the previous year, as shown by the "commercial platforms in the country's main markets and in the lanes by the side of the national roads.
"For this growth to be sustainable and to be reflected in the improvement of the living conditions of the population, it is necessary to broaden the levels of intervention, both at the level of peasant families, who represent 90% of the agricultural area worked and 86% of agricultural production, as well as in the creation of support and incentive policies to promote large-scale investment," stressed the Angolan minister, quoted by Lusa.
António de Assis participated today in the opening of the 5th conference promoted by Economia & Mercado magazine, which addressed the theme "Agribusiness, the Strategic National Reserve and the Reasons Why We Continue to Depend on Imports".
According to the governor, in the 2022/2023 agricultural year, out of a total of 1.7 million diagnosed farming families, 1.2 million were assisted, representing 70.2% of rural farming families.
The minister pointed out that "national production still faces the great challenge of access to inputs, which by imperative of the circumstances, are mostly imported.
Although there are already private initiatives in Angola such as the production of pipes and motocultivators, blenders, and fertilizers, António de Assis admitted that there is "a lot of work ahead to solve this issue," which presents itself as a business opportunity.
"We would also like to highlight here the Government incentives in place, such as the issuing of the declaration of exclusivity, which exempts the payment of customs duties for the import of machinery, equipment and agricultural inputs, and the reduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) for 5%," he stressed.
Regarding the promotion of livestock production, the minister said that approximately 500,000 chicks were distributed as part of the program to promote family poultry farming, which will start in 2019, and technical assistance was provided to more than 15,800 families in 16 of the 18 provinces, the largest beneficiary being Huíla.
On the other hand, the president of the Agricultural Association of Angola (AAPA), Wanderley Ribeiro, considered that the agriculture sector still faces several challenges from production, logistics and commercialization.
In statements to the press, Wanderley Ribeiro stressed the paradox between the desire to increase national production and imports.
"Imports have not taken into consideration what national production is. For example, right now, there are several farms that are in the process of harvesting corn, if this information of what is the harvest forecast in the next two months is not in the intervention plan of the reserve and even the Ministry of Commerce's own licensing process, we are going to have a conflict situation, where these products can come in, the corn, the soybeans, the wheat, at a time when there is some product availability," he said.
Wanderley Ribeiro stressed that national production has a higher cost, because most of the inputs used, "even the human capital itself," is imported.
For the president of AAPA, it is necessary to approach with some openness about the instruments that will help the business sector to lower the cost structure, which he considered quite heavy.
"The business sector pays taxes, experiences a lot of challenges, but sometimes we notice that what stands out is family farming. We have great respect for family farming and there is no competition, there is complementarity," he said.