New episode from a series of our reports on Angola where we watch how the country tries to diversify the economy, avoiding "petrodependence".
In the seventies Angola was the leader of the countries of Africa in the field of agriculture. But because of civil war, this sector of economy very much was damaged and represents only 10% of GDP today. Already 15 years, Angola tries to restart process to return former glory. And it is not a whim, but need as the country imports 80% of consumer goods. Serge Rombi, correspondent of Euronews:" According to the United Nations Angola enters in top-5 the countries of the world with the largest potential in development of agriculture.
In the country there are 58 million hectares of arable lands. It is the area more, than the territory of France. However only 10% of the earth are used today. It is connected also with a problem of irrigation of lands." We are on the biggest farm of the country, at the height of 1400 meters above sea level, at province tops the Southern Cuanza. The area is huge: 10000 hectares. And only one third is used today. But here more than 50 different products, with an annual turnover in 5 million dollars are already made.
Large private landowners make about 15% of producers in Angola, but they involve nearly a half of arable lands. Masedo's Dzhoa, land owner:" In Angola excellent conditions for agriculture. Fine microclimate, large number of lands and water. The best conditions for agriculture. But our big problem is the shortage of working hands". For development of this sector, it is necessary to invest in training of employees also. From 800 people working at this farm almost everyone is trained in the business. Considerable part of investments was also allocated for irrigation.
Four artificial lakes were created and cars of the last generation are installed. In general the company invested 150 million dollars in 6 and a half years in this and two more other farms. Masedo's Dzhoa, land owner: "Now we develop new projects for cultivation of other type of a product. Also there are ideas in development of agro-industrial complexes which already are in a stage of development and within the next 3 years, we will have to invest more than 150 million dollars again". Cultivation of coffee became also important factor for development of the Angola agriculture.
The local population calls it brown gold, hinting extremely this product. The coffee tree Arabica coffee extremely whimsical, is also required about 4 years that first "cherries" blossomed. And this man remembers gold times of coffee in Angola. The director of one of the largest companies in this industry already for fifty years, he plays a key role in revival of the Angola coffee. He supports and advises hundreds of local producers which want in a possibility of development of this sector.