WASHINGTON, July 5, 2016 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved today an IBRD loan of $70 million to increase smallholder agriculture production, productivity, and marketing for selected crops in Angola.
Angola’s overreliance on food imports coupled with the current fiscal crisis and economic downturn caused by the sharpest decline in oil prices in decades, prompted the Government of Angola (GoA) to accelerate the pace with which it diversifies its economy into sectors such as agriculture. Angola has great potential in agriculture with its estimated 35 million hectares of arable land, of which less than 4 million hectares are currently under cultivation. Furthermore, this sector has the potential to employ the great majority of the rural poor, ensuring greater inclusiveness of growth, while reducing the country’s food import bill, and combat malnutrition which affects 30 percent of children less than five years of age countrywide.
“I’m very pleased with this approval, hailed Ana Coutinho de Sousa, Country Manager for Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe. This project will improve the livelihoods of many poor smallholders in the Central Highlands of Angola, by increasing their agriculture productivity and linkages to markets. We look forward to further scale up the successes achieved under a previous World Bank-supported project named MOSAP. ”
More specifically, the project will help improve the technical, institutional, managerial, and marketing skills of 150,000 farmers, as well as strengthen the capacity of government agricultural extension specialists, agricultural research institutions, private agricultural service providers, and NGOs, and support agriculture value chains. This will help establish and reinforce smallholder farmers associations; improve technical and managerial competence of smallholder farmers; and enhance government capacity to provide institutional support to smallholder agricultural production and commercialization. The project will also support value chains development of selected crops through demand-based matching investment grants to smallholder farmers’ groups and organizations, to improve agricultural productivity, production, and market access. Fifty thousand smallholder farmers are expected to directly benefit from this form of support.
“This project will be implemented in the country’s central highlands which comprise the provinces of Bié, Malanje, and Huambo. These provinces are endowed with agro-ecological conditions suitable to increasing agricultural productivity, production, and commercialization,” added Aniceto Bila, World Bank Task Team leader for the operation.
The Project is aligned with the GoA plans, specifically Angola’s National Development Plan (NDP) 2013–2017, which highlights agriculture and rural development as a priority area to improve food security and revitalize the rural economy. The project is also consistent with the World Bank’s twin-goals of eradicate extreme poverty and improve shared prosperity in the world, as well as the institutions’ Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Angola.