ANGOLA – The Angolan Strategic Food Reserve (REA) has partnered with Carrinho Agri, an agricultural transformation company, to purchase more than 10,000 tons of corn from local farmers in a quest to attain self-sufficiency in local markets.
According to Jornal de Angola, the purchases by Carrinho Agri in this cycle would correspond to a total of 1.3 billion kwanzas (US$2.5M), an investment channeled to family farming operators.
According to Ademir da Silva, the Director of Agronomy, REA has stopped importing maize since September 2022, and the mechanism is supported exclusively by national production to purchase maize from over 38,000 local producers.
In addition, Ademir revealed that Carrinho Agri estimates that it will buy around 100,000 tons of maize, beans, wheat, rice, and cotton but in the first phase, the 10 thousand tons refer exclusively to corn.
According to REA, these actions have already made the national market self-sufficient in terms of maize production and consumption as well as improved the quality of life of Angolan producers.
On the agricultural side, the officials revealed that this relationship is cementing the foundations of sustainable family farming in Angola, benefiting the families enrolled in the process.
“Producers are receiving the full value of their crops, without intermediaries, which already allows them to consistently buy goods that they could not previously, as the price was not fixed and it did not always bring them a profit“, explained Ademir da Silva.
The journey to self-sufficiency started last year when Angola announced plans to invest US$5.7 billion in various agriculture-focused projects under the National Plan for Grain Production dubbed PlanaGrao with an overall goal of raising grain production to 6 million tonnes by 2027.
The move was motivated by the need to reduce dependence on grain imports, which the Ministry of Economy and Planning unveiled that the import bill for this category of foodstuffs amounts to more than US$791 million each year
Early this year, Jardins da Yoba, a leading Angolan seed production expert, announced plans to increase the production of improved maize seeds by expanding planting hectarage to 550, with a view of facilitating access to the product and encouraging family farming.
Under PlanoGrao the country intended to raise its grain production from the current 3 million tonnes to 5 million tonnes for maize.