Angola: Agricultural Cooperatives of Former Combatants Win Tractors

Caxito — Two agricultural cooperatives of former combatants in Paranhos and Bucula localities, in Dande Municipality, northern Province of Bengo, received last Monday two tractors and implements to boost the results of the activity.

The Paranhos cooperatives, with 79 hectares and Bucula with 56, were created three years ago with 142 members, in which 38 are women. Banana, cassava, aubergine, tomato, onion, okra, sugar cane, pineapple and vegetables are the main crops sold in the markets of Cawango (Bengo) and Luanda.

The Bucula cooperative harvested in the early years between 50 and 60 tonnes, but last year production was halved due to lack of watering motor pumps.

The cooperative of Paranhos does not have control of its total production, according to the official Bartolomeu José Domingos, but estimates that it is approximately of 20 tonnes.

In both cooperatives the production is made manually and the tractors received last Monday are the first ones that the cooperatives get since their creation.

The cooperatives have been facing several problems that hinder the intended better results, such as lack of the official documentation that confirms land ownership, lack of motor pumps, seeds and fertilizers to better develop their activity.

On the delivery time of the tractors and implements, the Minister of Social Action, Family and Women's Promotion, Faustina Inglês Alves, explained that the means are part of a batch of 104 tractors and their implements, which are being distributed throughout the country, to support former military associations and agricultural cooperatives, to enable increased production.

In this ambit, tractor drivers and mechanics have been trained, with priority to former combatants members of the cooperatives, in the provinces of Bengo, Uige and Cuanza Sul, and it is to continue the coming days in Moxico, Huíla and Benguela provinces.

The minister said that in the last two years Bengo Province reintegrated 136 former soldiers in activities such as tailoring, masonry, carpentry, agriculture, auto-mechanics, ironwork and retreading, but it is still worrying the situation of the 558 former working-age already retired military.

The official said that the socio-professional reintegration of former military is one of the most important components for social stability, strengthening peace, democracy and national reconciliation.

On her turn, the Bengo governor, Maria Quiosa, considered that this means will allow the increase of the agricultural production and family income.

The same action will be held this Tuesday in the northern Uíge Province and on Friday will be in the central Cuanza Sul Province.

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