Luanda, Angola, 11 Jan – Angola’s 2009 coffee harvest rose to at least 15,000 tonnes, an annual increase of 200 percent over the 5,000 tonnes in 2008, the director-general of the National Coffee Institute (Inca) has announced in Luanda.
Increased production was partly due to the Palmar Coffee Development Programme in the National Plan and to the Agriculture Sector Executive Programme, whose various components include “projects to rehabilitate abandoned plantations and to commercialise coffee,” said Jo?o Ferreira da Costa Neto, cited Monday by the Angolan official news agency Angop.
Last year Inca allowed the country’s coffee growers to sell 15,000 tonnes of their product, versus the 9,000 tonnes commercialised in 2008 under a coffee commercialisation programme set up in 2007.
Neto, who coordinated that programme, said the amount had been in storage for many years due to a lack of buyers and was acquired in the most remote coffee-growing areas of Uige, Kwanza Sul, Kwanza Norte and Bengo provinces.
In 2009 the coffee growing sector also saw cultivated areas grow from 30,000 to 50,000 hectares, with prospects of eventually reaching 100,000 hectares. That figure is nevertheless far below the estimated 500,000 hectares under cultivation during the colonial period, which produced 200,000 tonnes of commercial coffee per year.
From the business standpoint, coffee producers in Kwanza Sul invested US$3.5 million in 2009 in irrigated coffee production in Libolo municipality, seeking to improve product quality.
National investors say the area is preferred because its climate favours the production of arabica coffee. The varieties used include ‘wakawa arabica’, ‘mundo novo’, ‘catuai’ and ‘topaze’.