Luanda, Angola, 21 Jan – The Angolan government plans to re-launch sugar production in the country and already has projects set up to plant sugar cane in the provinces of Malange, Cunene, Kwanza Sul and Zaire, in which four factories are planned.
The announcement was made by Angola’s Industry Minister, Joaquim David, on a recent visit to the Dombe Grande commune, in Beguela province, a region that in the colonial period produced sugar on a large scale and where one of the country’s most important factories was located.
According to the minister, the government is currently contacting national and foreign investors with a view to re-launching sugar production in several of the country’s regions.
The National Director for Agriculture, Livestock and Forestry, Domingos Nazaré Velosos said that the current food deficit, particularly maize and wheat, had been overcome through imports.
“The country is living entirely off imports, which cannot continue. And for that to happen teh Government wants to replace previous capacities in terms of sugar production,” he said.
According to Nazaré, in the colonial period, Angola had great potential in this area, exporting a large part of sugar production, but the civil war that the country suffered led to the two factories in the country halting production.
Maximum levels of sugar production in Angola were reached in 1971 and 1973, but as of 1974/5, harvests dropped abruptly and by 1990 production was at its lowest ever level and immediately afterwards the country’s largest sugar factory, in Benguela, closed.
A sugar production project is already underway in the hands of oil company Sonangol and Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, in the Capanda area of Malange, where some US$200 million are due to be invested.
The project aims to produce 250,000 tonnes of sugar per year as well as 30,000 cubic feet of ethanol. (macauhub)