The approved Private Investment Law (Law No. 20/11 of 20 May 2011), defines the Agriculture and livestock sector as one of the priority areas for private investment in Angola.
The country has a climate that is favourable to a wide variety of tropical and semi-tropical cultures, and extensive grazing areas situated in the Southwest plateau. The agricultural sector has proven capabilities in the colonial past for crops of sugar, cotton, rubber, coffee, sisal, corn, peanuts, potatoes, cassava, beans, fruit growing and horticulture.
Presently the crop structure in Angola is not so diversified (FAO, 2010): corn (cca. 38%), cassava (24%), beans (17%), peanuts (7%), massango / massambala (4%), sweet potatoes (4%), potatoes (3%). Whereas coffee was once the main export product for Angola, in 2010 coffee production accounted for only 0.6% of the total area under cultivation (FAO, 2010).
So in summary, a former self-sufficient country in all major crops except wheat, Angola is nowadays a net importer of all food leading to high prices in shops. The country is only slowly rebuilding its agricultural infrastructure and capacity which was devastated by the nearly three decades of Civil War (1975-2002). Being Africa’s second-largest oil producer (and currently number one) has accelerated the country’s recovery process (est. 6,8 % GDP real growth rate in 2012). However, the government only nominated the agriculture sector as a strategic priority in 2011.
With approximately 58 million hectares of total agriculture area (FAO, 2010), Angola is the 16th largest country in the world in terms of its farming potential. In the agricultural year 2010-2011 only 5.2 million hectares were cultivated (MINADERP, 2011), representing a 6% increase over the previous year. The exploitation of the land to reach its full potential is hindered, amongst other factors, by the slow and dangerous process of removing the landmines and unexploded bombs that litter the countryside, all as a result of the civil war. This naturally has become a real constraint to the country’s economic and social recovery.
However, recognising the potential that the agriculture has in Angola, foreign investment in the sector has started to pick up. Brazil, Spain, USA, Portugal and Canada are continuing their investments in the agro-industrial area in Kwanza-Sul, created back in 2010. The Japanese financed an infrastructure and irrigation project in the Moxito province last year and are continuing their demining cooperation with the Angolan government in Bengo. 2013 has seen the Portuguese business group, Delta Cafés, begin to promote the production of coffee in Uige province. The Chinese have announced the first rice harvest in Kuando-Kubango province, and they also have an investment in Malanje and Uige for agricultural study and research centres. Across all provinces, the revival of the Angolan agricultural sector province is beginning to stir.
Much remains to be done to achieve the production levels required to meet the needs of the internal market and relaunch Angola’s exports. Opportunities in the sector are plentiful, and both private and inter-governmental project propositions are welcomed, especially in the following areas:
Support in construction, rehabilitation or expansion of infrastructure, including storing capacity, distribution and refrigeration solutions
Industrial and agricultural machinery and equipment, complemented by technical assistance
Support to the production of seeds, pesticides and soil fertilizers
Manufacturing – juice, mills
Technology in irrigation, agricultural study and research centres
Provision of training in general agri-business skills
Provision of higher education formation
Agricultural micro-credits and insurance against risks of natural disasters that affect agriculture
Getting into the market
The Agriculture sector stands high on the priority governmental list and we suggest approaching the relevant institutions first, in order to coordinate and synchronize the effort with the national development governmental plans. In addition, we also advise the following:
Do make regularly contact and develop face to face relationships with local bodies
Employ the services of a local law firm and perform thorough due diligence on potential business partners
Local partnerships can facilitate the process of establishing in Angola
Be prepared that market entry can take longer and cost more than in other countrie.
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.
Jose Paulo, British Embassy Luanda. Tel: ++244 222 397 681; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Margarethe da Paixao, British Embassy Luanda. Tel: ++244 222 397 681; Email: email@example.com
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
Market Visit to Angola, led by Lord Marland of Odstock
7-10 October 2013