The first cotton harvest under Angola’s production recovery programme is scheduled for July in the provinces of Malanje and Kwanza Sul with a symbolic result of 200 tonnes in the first province and 42 in the second, Angolan news agency Angop reported.
Following independence, in 1975, cotton production virtually ceased due to the civil war, which ended in 2002.
The Ministry of Agriculture staffer and coordinator of the cotton production recovery programme, Carlos Canza, said that an area of 242 hectares was planted, and each hectare will produce one ton of seed cotton, which is insufficient to meet the needs of the textile industry in the country.
For the next 2017/2018 crop year, which will require an investment of 530 million kwanzas, 1,500 tonnes of seed cotton are expected to be harvested in those two provinces in February 2018, after planting 30 tonnes of sseds.
Agricultural engineer Carlos Canza said it was also expected that a Japanese company, which he did not identify, would invest in cotton production at the Capanda Agro-industrial Hub (Malanje) in an area of 10,000 hectares.
This project, he added, is expected to produce 50,000 tonnes of seed cotton in each agricultural season, around 5 tonnes per hectare, which will help to meet demand from the Angolan textile industry.
Canza also mentioned another cotton production project in an irrigated perimeter of Kwanza province in which US$67 million will be invested in a shared financing deal between the governments of Angola and South Korea.
Cotton cultivation in Angola dates back to 1926, with production increasing significantly from 1968, when it reached 15,000 tonnes, to 31,000 tonnes in 1971 and a peak of 86,000 tonnes in 1973.
The revitalisation of the cotton value chain began with the reconstruction and modernisation of Angola’s three textile factories, Textangue II (Luanda), Satec (Kwanza Norte) and Africa Têxtil (Benguela), engaged in spinning, weaving and sewing garments, respectively. (macauhub)