Angolas climate is diverse and provides for the growth of both tropical and semi-tropical crops. This puts the country at an advantage as it allows for easier agricultural diversification. Some of the countrys most successful crops include coffee, bananas, timber, tobacco and sunflowers.
Historically, Angola proved to be a world power in terms of agricultural production and was the worlds fourth largest coffee producer at one stage. This is not the case anymore and some have estimated that only 3% of their arable land is cultivated. The potential is therefore enormous although the success of the sector depends directly upon the outcome of the civil conflict.
The government has made the rehabilitation of coffee plantations a priority. They have undertaken efforts in this regard with the assistance of the UN agency the World Food Programme. This aid is vital for the development of the sector and the country has received assistance from the EU in the form of seeds and farming equipment. The Angolan Ministry of Agriculture is in the process of reforming its legislation in order to ensure that its policies are carried out with greater commitment in the interests of guaranteeing food self sufficiency for the people. Among new laws proposed in 2005 are those concerning land, agrarian development, co-operative law, forests and seeds.
An Angolan delegation from Bie province, led by the governor, visited the Czech Republic to strengthen bilateral co-operation in the agricultural sector. Bie province has benefited since 2003 from co-operation with the Prague Agrarian University, which has provided training in agriculture at secondary school level in Kuito through the secondment of 6 Czech teachers specialising in agriculture. Bie is now exploring, with its Czech colleagues, the possibility of running bilateral exchange programmes and raising the training programme to include a higher level technical and professional course in agriculture.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, together with other international institutions, is helping Angola to get contributions to enable it to put into effect a medium term plan of action in order to produce sufficient cereals to make up an anticipated food deficit. Chevron-Texaco is financing development projects in the agricultural production sector, in Ekunha district near Huambo city in Angola. The government of China donated to Malanje province, 46 containers containing 960 tonnes of mainly agricultural products such as hoes and handles, axes, scythes, ploughs and machetes, to the value of US$1 million.
The Angola government ran a course on the upgrading of seed and the improvement of plants in order to boost the yield of crops for food. Technicians from Cabinda, Huila, Huambo, Uige and Malanje provinces attended the course, together with 6 technicians from Mozambique.
The fishing sector of Angola managed to attract foreign investment in spite of the civil war. The annual catch was significantly diminished by the war. But this situation has shown improvement since 1994 and 2001 was a good year for the sector. Despite this, the full potential of the fishing sector has not been realized. The Angolan government has taken steps towards the liberalisation of this sector and fish prices are no longer regulated. The government in collaboration with the World Bank, also established the Angolan Support fund for Fisheries Development in order to aid the sector in its growth and development.
Furthermore, the government has passed a statute setting up the Institute for Development of Artisanal Fishing and Aquaculture (IPA), which aims to promote and develop artisanal, marine and continental fishing. The IPA will promote campaigns for the purpose of creating and developing artisanal fishing communities. 700 fishermen living in communities on the banks of the Zaire river are to benefit from a fishing programme which includes the distribution of boats and canoes and provides training for the fishermen. The programme is the result of an initiative by two bodies, Pesnorte and the Fund for Support of the Development of Artisanal Fishing, and the intention is to extend it to other provinces in Angola.
The Angolan Parliament has additionally ratified seven international accords designed to set up mechanisms for the management and operation of fishing. The accords are as follows:
1. Accord on the statutes of the Fishing Committee of the Centre-East Atlantic aims at the sustainable exploitation of fishing resources through the fishing ordination and fisheries’ operations.
2. Accord related to the protocol of amendment to the International Convention for Preservation of Tuna of the Atlantic Ocean.
3. Convention related to co-operation among African states along the Atlantic seaboard in developing fisheries in the region.
4. Protocol on ways of applying the United Nations Purpose on 1982 Sea Rights with regard to matters concerning trans-zone fishing stocks and migrant fish.
5. Accord relating to the maintenance and management of fisheries on the southeast Atlantic in such a way as to preserve the sustainable use of fishing resources.
6. Accord regarding the creation of an inter-governmental organisation of information and co-operation for the trading of fisheries products in Africa.
7. Agreement to promote the fulfilment of international measures regarding maintenance by fishing boats operating on the high seas.
A Moroccan fishing delegation led by the Minister of Rural Development and Maritime Fishing visited Angola to assist Angolas fishing industry by sharing scientific experience. To this end, it is expected that the two countries will sign accords in the fields of scientific co-operation, staff training and fishing inspection and establish commercial partnerships in the capturing and processing of fish. The Angolan Minister of Fishing, Salomao Xirimbimbi, has stated that Angola wishes to take advantage of the experience of developed countries such as Morocco that have an established and successful fishing industry, in order to improve the performance of Angolas fishing industry.
The Fisheries Minister has also visited Benguela province in order to assess the progress of and assist in the re-launch of the fishing industry in that province. A number of steps have been taken in order to complete this programme, starting with treating the water with salt and culminating in the acquisition of boats by firms that are involved in the fishing industry in the region. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation has said that Angola has great potential to develop fish breeding as it has a large number of small areas of water that could be developed as aquafarms.