Angola Pledges to Deal With Food Self-Sufficiency Challenge

Cuito — One of the biggest current challenges for the Angolan Government is to ensuring food self-sufficiency, with an increase in national production to meet the needs of the population.

The Executive pledges to continue to promote this sector to ensure the growth inclusive of the economy, the minister of Territorial Administration, Dionísio Manuel da Fonseca has said.

Addressing the National Hero's Day, held in Cuito, central Bié province, the Dionísio Manuel da Fonseca said soil productivity, in general, is still very low, with the exception of cassava, bananas and citrus fruits.

He said the population uses only 10 percent of the total land with agricultural potential.

Therefore, he said, there is an urgent need to increase cultivated areas, optimise the type of crops and improve productivity.

The official explained that family farmers cultivate more than 90 percent of arable land and ensure more than 80 percent of national production, just as agriculture, livestock and forestry represent more than 50 percent of employment in the country .

He said Executive will continue to work to facilitate access to seeds and fertilizers, as well as create conditions for the flow of production from the fields to consumption centers.

The minister also spoke of the responsibility of provincial governments and, above all, municipal administrations to promote productive inclusion, facilitating access and titled ownership of agricultural land.

He noted that the measure falls within the scope of the administrative deconcentration and decentralization programme, which aims to bring services closer to the population and make the municipality the epicenter of governance.

The minister praised the province of Bié, which saw corn production grow from 1.5 to three tons per hectare, from 8 to 12 tons per hectare in the production of reindeer potatoes, from nine to 17 tons per hectare in tomato production and from 10 to 32 tons per hectare in cabbage production.

The National Hero's day is celebrated under the motto Together for the Development of Angola, which, according to the minister, reflects Agostinho Neto's vision of cooperation and walking together for Angola's progress.

The event was also attended by the minister of Education Luísa Grilo, secretaries of State, vice-governors, representatives of political parties, municipal administrators, representatives of the Dr. António Agostinho Neto Foundation, traditional authorities and other guests.

António Agostinho Neto was born in Icolo e Bengo, on September 17, 1922. He died in Moscow on September 10, 1979. BAN/PLB/NIC

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