When thinking of Angola, often the first thing that comes to people’s mind is the oil industry, with the country having overtaken Nigeria as Africa’s largest oil producer last month. However, Angola may soon be known as an agricultural powerhouse on the African continent as well.
Angola has an abundance of arable land and a diversity of climatic conditions that are suitable for producing a variety of agricultural products. In fact, the country was once a major producer and exporter of agricultural products, including coffee, cotton, and bananas. However, exports of these had virtually ceased by the 1990s as a result of the civil war (1975–2002), which led to the collapse of commercial agricultural production, and Angola’s agricultural potential has remained untapped since then. Only 10% of the 35 million hectares of arable land in the country are currently being cultivated.
In recent years, however, agriculture’s share of Angola’s economy has grown rapidly, averaging 4.9% a year, thus leading to