ANGOLA – Angola has relaunched the National Plan for the Promotion of Grain Production (Planagrão) in a bid to speed up the wheat production target of 229,000 tonnes from the current 8,000 tonnes annually.  

Launched by the Angolan Executive in December 2022, the “Planagrão program seeks to increase cereal production (wheat, rice, soya, and maize) from the current level of around three million tonnes/year to six million tonnes by 2027.

Wheat production is one of the main focuses of “Planagrão”. With this Executive programme, Angola eyes to reduce wheat imports and consolidate its strategy of producing on a large scale to supply the local and foreign markets.

According to officials, the wheat production market in Angola is already starting to show positive signs, mainly due to the gradual increase in supply and the number of farmers interested in this crop.

However, the country has an installed capacity to produce just over 8,000 tonnes a year against current consumption capacity of 600,000 tonnes a year.

Additionally, figures from the National Directorate of Foreign Trade, a body attached to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, show that Angola imported about 18 million kilograms of wheat flour from January to June this year costing the nation US$20M.

The director of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Studies, Planning, and Statistics Office, Anderson Jerónimo, believes that the country is on the right track and predicts a reduction in wheat grain imports of around 30 or 40 percent over the next three years if the country continues to grow this cereal at the same rate.

At the same time, Anderson Jerónimo believes that the effect of the government’s public policy, the commitment of entrepreneurs, and the resilience of families are relaunching wheat production in the country.

He also points to “Planagrão”, among other public policy instruments, as one of the programs that will also speed up the increase in production.

According to Anderson Jerónimo, the current motivation for farmers to grow the product is essentially being driven by the emergence of some factories that process the cereal into wheat flour.

Angola currently has 10 mills that guarantee the processing of 1.3 million tonnes of wheat flour, which is above the needs of the domestic market (processing), estimated at 700,000 tonnes a year.

For the next agricultural season, which officially begins this month (October), 1,440 hectares are expected to be farmed in the central plateau.

Official figures from that province indicate that 480 hectares of wheat were farmed in the 2022/2023 agricultural season, with the involvement of 300 farming families, supported and assisted by the Agrarian Development Institute (IDA).

To relaunch wheat cultivation, the local authorities and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry are encouraging farmers by giving them seeds.