Government aims for detailed soil studies

The secretary of State for Agriculture and Livestock, João da Cunha, considered today, in Luanda, the need to carry out more detailed studies of the soil to guarantee the suitability of the land available for the National Plan for the Promotion of Grain Production (Planagrão).

Speaking about the land description in the provinces of Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul, for the production of maize, rice and soy and other products, he stressed that, of the visited lands, visible observation allowed him to have an idea and to affirm that they are lands with agricultural potential.

João da Cunha said that they are initiating contacts with Agricultural Research Institute, in order to be able to travel to the two provinces and start collecting soil samples from the spots “that have already been identified to carry out the analyses. It is an extremely important step, because human eye is not enough”.

He recalled that it is the responsibility of the governments of the selected provinces (Lundas Norte and Sul, Cuando Cubango and Moxico) to identify, in their respective territories, the land available to be valued and used within the scope of the Planagrão.

“These lands are in provinces where the population density is relatively low and most of all, according to what was confirmed to us by the governors, are free lands, where the State can perfectly use them for the purpose for which it proposes”, he emphasized.

On his turn, the secretary of State for Economy, Ivan dos Santos, reinforced that the spots were identified, with the help of provincial governments and local authorities, as a result of a history of using these lands for the cultivation of selected cereals.

In the Municipality of Lóvua, Province of Lunda Norte (north-east), its history is conducive to the cultivation of corn and soybeans, therefore, provincial governments and local authorities selected these spots.

Regarding conditions for the preparation of a study of the Planagrão’s value chain, he stressed that “there is a need to prepare a study, being a new and challenging plan, but with a lot of opportunity for the private sector”.

“We are on schedule, we believe that we will be able to meet the schedule to ensure that the implementation of the plan has the intended success. In the multisectoral commission, we decided to implement the study, because it is in the State’s interest that our private sector be successful in implementing projects”, he emphasized.

He said that, after identifying the 130,000 hectares available for starting Planagrão in Lunda Norte, and 56,000 hectares in Lunda Sul, the teams are processing all hectares, in terms of land extension, and the access roads to evaluate the effective cost, mainly of the infrastructures.

Approved by Presidential Decree 200/22, of July 22nd, the plan foresees an average annual investment of around US$670 million for the production of wheat, rice, soy and corn grains, among others.

The State will provide kz 2.852 billion (USD5.6 billion) for the programME, with kz 1.6 billion (USD2.9 Million)to finance the private sector, provided by Banco de Desenvolvimento de Angola (BDA) and the Fundo Activo de Capital de Risco, (FACRA) – Venture Capital Active Fund.

The remaining 1.17 billion kwanzas will be channelled towards infrastructure, which includes the demarcation of two million hectares, allotment and access roads to the production areas.

The Planagrão foresees an average annual investment of around US$670 million for the production of wheat, rice, soy and corn grains, among others, and around US$471 million/year for the construction and rehabilitation of support infrastructures to the productive and social sector.

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)