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Angola becomes self-sufficient in banana production

Staff writer |
Having focused on oil and diamonds, Angola is now branching out with encouraging results into banana production.

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Banana plantations are increasing and continue to spread over the Caxito plains, 60 kilometres North West of Luanda. Angola imports 90% of food, but can now rely on nationally grown bananas.

Production at Caxito Rega, which was created in 2008, has not stopped increasing. They even export some of their produce to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Caxito Rega was founded when American group Chiquita and Portuguese group Escom dropped their joint banana plantation project in Angola having decided that it would not be profitable. To launch the project, Caxito Rega received financial aid from China, who buy half of Angola’s oil production.

But with the plummeting oil prices, Angola deems it even more necessary to diversify their economy. Developing the agricultural sector to start with, followed by the agri-food sector is an option that is being considered seriously in Angola, where $5 billion is spent importing food products.

This makes Luanda one of the world’s most expensive towns, despite half of the population living off less than $2 a day.

The number of projects are increasing, especially public-private partnerships. The Biocom group attained about 40,000 hectares east of Luanda last year to create a sugar plantation and factory, the 260,000 tons they hope to produce within 3 years means the country will no longer rely on sugar imports either.

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