14 February 2013

Angola's Famine, Malnutrition Drops By 57 Percent

Rome — Angola reduced the famine and malnutrition rate by 57,1 percent from 1990 to 2012, the minister of Agriculture, Afonso Pedro Canga, said Wednesday in Rome (Italy).

The Angolan minister was addressing the two-day 36th session of the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) that opened on Wednesday in the Italian capital.

Afonso Canga said that currently, the rate of malnutrition is of 27 percent, against 62 percent in 1991.

According to him, Angola's success in the huge task of fighting famine and poverty, is mainly owed to the peace achieved in 2002 and the strategy adopted by the Government.

The Angolan Government, he stated, is making an effort toward boosting the non-oil sector, with a view to a major diversification of the economy and a sustainable development, with positive results in the living standards of the populations, mainly those from the rural area.

Food production, with stress to that undertaken by smallholders and artisan fishermen, has been recording remarkable growth, thus contributing to the revenues of the rural growers, the minister also said.

Other contributing factors mentioned by the minister include growing public investments in agriculture, fisheries and agro-food industry.

As he stated, there has been a strengthening of the institutions and improvement to governance, with incentives to the farming sector, which is responsible for most of the food production and jobs in the rural area.

The minister explained that the Angolan Government started focusing on the recovery and creation of infrastructures and is now pumping more resources into the productive sectors and social matters, in view of the constraints still facing the populations.

To him, IFAD can and must play a relevant role in Angola, through providing funding for a large number of projects, transmission of experience of other countries, training and support for the promotion of south-south cooperation.

The 36th session of the IFAD Governing Council is going with the theme "The power of partnerships: Forging alliances for sustainable smallholder agriculture, and has so far analysed, among other topics, the conclusions of the Emoluments Committee and the Programme and Budget for 2013.

The Angolan delegation to the event comprises the country's representative to IFAD, ambassador Florêncio de Almeida, and is headed by the incumbent minister, Afonso Pedro Canga.

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