Japan supports Angola to re-launch cotton cultivation

1 December 2017

The cultivation of cotton in Angola will be re-launched with the support of the Japanese Agency for International Cooperation (JICA), which plans to send technicians to the African country to carry out experimental cultivation of cotton in the Capanda Agricultural Hub, in Malanje province, according to the Japanese Embassy in Luanda.

During the study, which will be carried out in conjunction with the Institute of Agrarian Development (IDA), there will be field trials with varieties of cotton using a drip irrigation system, with the support of international experts, to “assess the adaptability and yield of different varieties of seed cotton.”

The support from JICA will also ensure the “acquisition of irrigation equipment, seeds, fertilizers, cotton pressing, and other needs,” according to Portuguese news agency Lusa.

The programme coordinator for cotton production in the Ministry of Agriculture, Carlos Canza, in July announced in July the intention of a Japanese company to deploy this experimental system in an area of 10,000 hectares, and expecting to see a yield of 5 tons of cotton per hectare.

Cotton cropping was introduced in Angola in the mid 16th century, during the Portuguese colonial period.

In 1872, Angola exported 1,000 tons of cotton, but significant growth of production only happened from the mid-1960s onwards, when production increased to over 10,000 tons per year.

Angolan cotton production reached a record of 86,000 tons in 1973, making Angola one of the world’s largest producers.

The war that ravaged the country after the proclamation of independence in 1975, virtually ended cotton production, and this year the Ministry of Agriculture has launched a programme to recover this cash crop. (macauhub)