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Cablegate: Thinking Big On Developing Angola's Agricultural

P 081637Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY LUANDA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5686
INFO SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS LUANDA 000567


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AO EAGR EAID ECON
SUBJECT: THINKING BIG ON DEVELOPING ANGOLA'S AGRICULTURAL
POTENTIAL

1. During an August 10 meeting with visiting US Congressman
Donald Payne, Agriculture Minister Alfonso Pedro Canga
explained Angolan plans to increase cereals production from
the current 750,000 metric tons per year to 2 million MT by
2013. The increased production would enable Angola to meet
domestic demand (currently about 1 million MT per year) and
export the surplus. To achieve this goal, the GRA is
implementing its strategic plan to 1) renovate the
agricultural infrastructure, 2) increase acreage of irrigated
land, 3) expand agricultural research, especially for small
and medium producers, 4) train farmers, and 5) provide
incentives to small-holder farmers, such as credit and
inputs. To this end, the GRA has recently approved a $350
millon line of credit for small and medium producers. In
addition, the GRA is supporting medium and large producers
through development of agricultural infrastructure and by
encouraging private sector investment in the sector. Noting
that women play a disproportional role in food production,
the Minister said the strategy also supports rural women and
youth.

2. The Minister stressed that the US could play an important
role in helping Angola achieve its ambitious goals of
becoming a net food exporter. Specifically, he requested US
help in enlisting US educational institutions to help Angola
build an agricultural research capacity. He also requested
US assistance in training (both in Angola and in the US)
Angolan staff in agricultural production and marketing. The
Minister invited US investors to come to Angola and build
partnerships to help Angola greatly expand production of
sugar, soybean, coffee, beans, and other commodities to meet
domestic needs and export. He said the government would
provide incentives to foreign investors in the agricultural
sector, such as tax advantages, expedited importation of
agricultural equipment, investment protection, and guaranteed
repatriation of profits. He said recently enacted land
reform legislation guarantees land concessions to investors.
He added that agricultural industries both for inputs
(fertilizers, seeds, etc.) and for processing outputs
(coffee, juices, canned fruit, etc.) were other areas of
investment potential.

3. COMMENT: The Minister's message to the Congressman was
much like the one given to Secretary Clinton during her
August 9 - 10 visit: In the wake of the global economic and
financial crisis, the Angolans are serious about diversifying
their economy by developing their enormous agricultural
potential, thus making the economy more insulated from oil
price shocks and creating needed jobs so more Angolans can
share in the nation's growth. Angola has great potential not
only to satisfy its own food needs but to contribute
importantly to global food security. To this end, Post is
preparing a proposal on how Angola might benefit from
participation in the Global Agriculture and Food Security
Response.


MOZENA

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