Agriculture is already BIG business in Angola, but has the potential to become much bigger. The country offers excellent conditions for many crops, with fertile soil, abundant water and a favourable climate.
A Growth Story focuses on the farmers and agricultural producers investing in this part of southwestern Africa. At nearly 500,000 square miles, Angola, is a vast country twice the size of France and home to a broad range of landscapes, spanning arid savannahs to forests.
Subsistence agriculture provides the main livelihood for most of Angola’s population, but more than half of the country’s food is still imported. Angola holds tremendous agriculture potential with fertile soils, abundant water, and a favorable climate. The Ministry of Agriculture estimates that Angola has almost 58 million hectares available for agricultural development, including 35 million hectares of arable land.
Of the arable land, approximately 15 percent is currently cultivated, and 20 percent is suitable for irrigation. After almost 27 years of civil war, aggressive international landmine clearing efforts have opened up extensive areas of land for agricultural development. Livestock also holds strong potential in Angola, with a vast natural habitat for grazing and water resources throughout the country.
During the colonial era, which ended in 1975, Angola was a major producer and exporter of cotton, coffee, corn, banana, tobacco, sugarcane, and sisal. Currently, Angola’s main agricultural crops include cassava, corn, beans, potatoes, sweet potatoes, soy, bananas, coffee, rice, vegetables and fruits.
Domestic agricultural production capacity does not meet local demand. The most fertile regions are in the highlands and valleys. The rainy season is from October to May, which is considered the prime season for vegetable cultivation. Tomatoes are grown during the dry season (June to September). Greenhouses and irrigation expand the growing seasons, but these technologies are not widely used in Angola.