Angola: Shortage of Technicians Blamed for Low Coffee Production

Luanda — The blatant lack of staff to empower coffee growers with new scientific and technological knowledge continues to be one of the main reasons for the constant drop in coffee production in Angola.

The director-general of the National Coffee Institute (INCA), Vasco António, said currently the institution has only 14 researchers and seven senior technicians, aged over 48.

According to him, the number is insufficient to respond to the challenges of this agricultural subsector in the country.

Speaking to ANGOP, ahead of the International Coffee Day, celebrated on October 1st, the Vasco António explained that the blatant deficit of technicians stems from "non-admission of new staff in the agriculture sector, over many years".

He added that the vacancies left by retired and deceased professionals are not being filled, causing a "blatant" staff deficit in the coffee subsector, a scenario that can be seen in almost all segments of the agricultural and livestock sector.

In order to reduce the shortage of professionals in the research area, for example, the source said that the institute needs at least 110 researchers, including coordinators and trainees, as well as 82 senior technicians (advisors and 2nd class technicians).

Given this scenario, Vasco António admitted the possibility of new admissions, in the near future, with a view to reducing the existing staff deficit.

He explained that the inclusion of new specialists will serve, essentially, to meet the real needs of the three coffee research stations, installed in the provinces of Uíge, Cuanza Sul (Gabela) and Benguela (Ganda).

The International Coffee Day, which began to be celebrated on October 1, 2015, aims to recognise the importance of this product in the daily lives of citizens, as well as to support the millions of coffee growers who are dedicated to the cultivation of the aromatic product.

The date, celebrated by 74 member states of the International Coffee Organization (ICO) and 26 coffee sector associations around the world, gives coffee lovers the opportunity to share their love for the drink.

Worldwide, coffee cultivation employs more than 500 million people, while the trade in this product moves more than 170 billion dollars, surpassed only by oil.

According to statistical data, it is estimated that over two billion cups of coffee are consumed per day in the world, a fact that challenges countries to increase production levels more and more to satisfy the market.

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