United States supports development of Angolan agriculture

5 March 2007

Luanda, Angola, 5 March – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with multinational oil company Chevron, is to grant US$5.5 million to the Angolan government to support agricultural development in the country.

The amount, which will be handed over in portions over the next five years, is part of the Memorandum of Understanding signed last week with the Angolan Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development for the implementation of the Program for Agricultural and Financial Development (PDAF).

According to the United States ambassador to Angola, Cynthia Efird, the PDAF, “well help to improve the life of rural populations through an increase in economic opportunities,” while allowing “Angola to generate diversified growth in the financial and agricultural sectors.”

The PDAF, called “ProAgro Angola” aims to increase access to financing for the agricultural sector, easing the way for links between the government and the private sector along the sector’s entire production chain.

The provinces chosen for implementation of the program are Benguela, Kwanza Sul, Bengo, Luanda, Huila and Huambo, and the main products are bananas, coffee, potatoes and vegetables.

For the United States, this support aims to help Angola to “recover its former status as one of the most agriculturally rich nations in Africa,” Efird said.

The partnership between Chevron and USAID in Angola goes back to 2002 and has already helped to launch NovoBanco, a financial institution aimed at help micro and small businesses, which has so far granted loans totaling US$20 million. (macauhub)