The president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo has announced that IFAD would support the Angolan government with a funding of US $7.6 million towards the Agricultural Recovery Project (ARP) in Angola. This was announced at a meeting between him and Marcos Alexandre Nhunga, the minister of agriculture and forestry of Angola, on Thursday, December 6, 2018.
As an oil-dependent country, Angola is working towards diversifying its economy by looking into agriculture. The country’s south has been experiencing drought since the agricultural season of 2011/2012, with three provinces; Benguela, Cunene and Huila, being majorly affected. The ARP was put in place to help improve food and nutrition security of the targeted communities, as it is a prerequisite to enable them to participate in developmental activities.
The funding by IFAD is used in implementing projects in eight towns within the affected provinces of Benguela, Cunene and Huila with the objective being the “restoration of productive assets and capacity of households affected by recurrent droughts”.
According to a report by Africa Business Communities, IFAD is also supporting the Family Agriculture Development Project (SAMAP) which is being implemented in Cuanza Sul and Huila provinces from which 60,000 family farmers would benefit. The project will be funded with $38.8 million, with $28.8 million coming from the fund, $8.2 million from the Angolan government and $1.1 million from beneficiaries.
The financing of other agricultural projects aimed at tackling hunger and poverty in Angola is also being looked into with funding from IFAD, the Arab Bank for African Development (BADEA) and French Cooperation. According to Nhunga, agriculture can help catapult the development of Angola hence the special attention and investments in agriculture, particularly family farming.