The Angolan government’s decision to view the agricultural sector as a national development priority is driving Chinese companies to enter the country, according to the China-Lusophone Brief (CLBrief) website.
In an article entitled “Can Angola’s agriculture learn from the experience of Mozambique” CLBrief (www.clbrief.com) cites the Angolan National Roads Institute to note the importance of recovering more than 7,000 kilometres of roads that are fundamental to distribution of agricultural products and which are currently a bottleneck to the development of the sector.
In January CITIC and China Huashi Enterprises announced plans to develop agribusiness and water projects in the Angolan province of Huíla in one of the first Chinese investments in the sector.
The Angola-China Chamber of Commerce announced in February that Chinese investment in Angola will diversify in the coming years, focusing on agriculture and agribusiness. The Chamber remembers that 230 of its members are companies and business people from China.
Angola has been focusing on the development of large-scale agriculture by foreign companies, much like Mozambique.
The Hubei Grains and Oils company has announced that it will invest US$250 million in an area of 20,000 hectares to grow grains and rice in the Limpopo Valley near Xai Xai in southern Mozambique.
The Mozambican government is also expected to approve a bean and corn production project from Chinese companies PowerChina International Group and Xinjiang Production and Construction Corporation, which will occupy an area of 3,000 hectares along the Limpopo River managed by state-owned Hidráulica do Chokwe, Empresa Pública (HICEP).
The article recalls that agriculture in Mozambique accunts for 25% of the country’s GDP while in Angola it represents 12% and that more than 67% of Mozambique’s population lives in the countryside while in Angola that number is 55%.
According to CLBrief, the Angolan and Mozambican governments must structure the Chinese investments in the best way possible so that they do not become gigantic projects that instead of benefiting the country’s economy and the population, become essentially export-focused enterprises.(macauhub)