Luanda, Angola, 21 Jan – The launch of cotton production in the Angolan province of Kwanza Sul is going well and work on hydraulic engineering work is being implemented at a fast rate, according to state newspaper Jornal de Angola.
The work, which includes construction of three pumping stations and three water reservoirs to irrigate 61 sectors with 3,100 hectares of cotton, in the Gangula commune, is due to be completed this year.
According to the plan of the project, started in 2006, the first phase is due to take 38 months, up to September 2009, for construction of the irrigation system, which includes inspection, engineering and construction, preparatory work for the management of the operation, maintenance and training for equipment maintenance.
The second phase, lasting 24 months, consists of managing the operation and maintenance and the package covers training of technical staff and farmers and consulting on cropping.
The national director for Agricultural Hydraulics and Engineering of the Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hermenegildo dos Santos, told the newspaper that the irrigation system would be tested this year.
“We will move ahead with tests on the various varieties of cotton, as well as studies on the establishment of these crops. After their conclusion, production will begin,” said Santos.
The project, which is budgeted to cost US$30 million, is the responsibility of South Korean companies, Samsung Corporation and Hanil Engineering & Construction.
Before 1975, after Malanje, the province of Kwanza Sul was the second largest cotton producer in Angola, with an estimated production area of 41,007 hectares, in the municipalities of Sumbe, Seles, Libolo, Porto Amboim, Kilenda, Kibala, Amboim, Mussende e Conda, having reached production of 21,835 tonnes in 1973..
The last cotton season in the region occurred in 1999/2000, from an area of 3,650 hectares, with total production of 500 tonnes. (macauhub)