According to World Bank analysts, Angola once was a major producer and exporter of agricultural products, including coffee, cotton and bananas. However, exports of these had virtually ceased by the 1990s as a result of the civil war that lasted from 1975 to 2002). The violence led to the collapse of commercial agricultural production and Angola’s agricultural potential has remained untapped since then, with just 10% of the 35 million hectares of arable land in the country currently being cultivated.
But recently, agriculture’s share of Angola’s economy has grown rapidly, averaging 4.9% a year. Similarly, irrigation, as a pathway to climate adaptation, currently plays a modest role in Angola, but offers great potential for supporting resilience in the agricultural sector against water-related risks.
Transforming the agricultural sector
In its efforts to diversify the economy and address climate change, the government of Angola has been revitalizing its rural economy and its vast agricultural resources. The US$230 million Angola Commercial Agriculture Project (PDAC), co-financed by the World Bank and the French Agency for Development, aims to increase agricultural productivity and market access to more commercial farms.
PDAC’s innovative interventions to promote and support agribusiness development have led to the approval of 25 business plans with a total of US$7.7 million in investments, of which US$2.,9 million were matching grants, and to the unprecedented issuance of 16 partial credit guarantees for the agricultural sector, amounting to more than $1 million in local investment.