31 January 2013

Angola: FAO Recognises Country's Family Agriculture Potential

Luanda — The director general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO), José Grasiano da Silva, said Wednesday in Luanda that Angola has a strong potential for the development of family agriculture, being well placed at the Portuguese Speaking Community (CPLP) level.

José Grasiano da Silva was speaking to the press at the end of an audience with the Angolan minister of Agriculture, Afonso Pedro Canga.

The official said that a study conducted by FAO in the CPLP places Angola above Brazil, with a considerable advantage, in terms of family farm production.

The FAO director stated that the said study shows that Angola currently occupies in the family agriculture a population of 13,2 million people, while Brazil involves 12 million persons. "Therefore, Angola has one million people more involved in family agriculture as compared with Brazil," he stressed.

According to the source, Brazil was successful in promoting family agriculture, whereas Angola has a very big potential that boosts the development of the sector.

For this reason, he added, the two countries are interested to cooperate in experimental research, under United Nations mediation.

"FAO will mediate in the relation with the Brazilian Agro-farming Research Firm (Embrapa), with a view to accelerating the process of recovery of Angola's experimental research area in order to improve the country's performance in this matter," he stated.

As to the audience with the Angolan minister of Agriculture, José Grasiano da Silva said the meeting served to tackle matters concerning projects involving FAO and Angolan Government, based on a growing cooperation.

"The new areas that we today considered priority were within the assistance we are providing for family agriculture and trade. Making peasants more and more engaged and present in the market and stimulating them into increasing productivity so that the surplus can supply the local markets," he stated.

He added that the audience also served for the parties to review the south-south cooperation with other countries, with stress to the role of cooperation with Brazil's Imbrapa, in the recovery of Angola's experimental research capacity.

He recalled that in the past, that is before the war, Angola had an agro-farming and veterinary research system that equaled that of South Africa, and in some cases even taking the lead.

However, the specialist warned that the process of promotion of an experimental research system takes time and requires investment, but is also a opportunity to absorb the Angolan youths training in universities, both locally and abroad, to work in their own country and help strengthen the family agriculture.

In his turn, the minister of Agriculture Afonso Pedro Canga praised the relations of friendship and cooperation with Brazil as, he added, it permits the transfer of technology, expertise and dialogue, in addition to technical assistance.

The official also highlighted Brazil's experience in terms of agro-farming, admitting it to the right partner.

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