ANGOLA – The price of maize in the Alto Luena market, the main point of sale of the staple commodity, has registered a 41 percent reduction following the ongoing harvesting season.
According to ANGOP, the price decline comes after the country grappled with a shortage of the commodity and consequent inflation in the market in the last two months. Currently, a 150-kilogram bag is costing 14,000 kwanzas against the previous 24,000.
Recently, the maize shortage drove the Angolan National Authority for Economic Inspection and Food Safety (ANIESA) to seize three tons of maize meal from the brands “TOP’S and “Extra Fina” which were claimed to be in ‘poor condition’ and posed a food safety hazard to the consumers.
According to Dário José, an official in ANIESA, the tons corresponded to 134 bags of cornmeal that the public had raised complaints about.
In response, the agency culminated in a surprise visit to the commercial establishment where the goods were found in flagrante delicto
However, in the current 2022/2023 agricultural campaign, the province of Mexico, Angola’s grain basket, expects to harvest one million, 749 thousand, and 112 tons of various agricultural products in a process in which more than 43 thousand families of small producers are involved.
To this end, 62 thousand and 605 hectares of land were prepared, of which 59 thousand and 49 were done manually, 3 thousand and 464 were mechanized, and 92 hectares were used by animal traction, for the production of major agricultural commodities, especially maize, peanuts, and beans.
In preparation for the bumper harvest, last month, the Angolan Strategic Food Reserve (REA) 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 the agency, 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 referred exclusively to corn.