Statistics show that two-thirds of Angola’s population live on less than $2 a day. Poverty and food insecurity is rife despite the recent economic growth brought forth by the booming oil Industry.
Poverty is widespread because a very small percentage of the population reaps the benefits of the oil Industry. Most citizens are dependent on an agriculture sector that is still performing way below its potential.
As of 2017, a report by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) indicated that only 10% of Angola’s arable land is under cultivation.
With such a small percentage of land under cultivation, the yields are low, and Angola has to depend on imported foods. Unfortunately, with the poverty level, most people in the rural areas cannot afford this food.
Pasquale, a farmer in the rural Huambo province, is disheartened by the lack of agricultural raw materials, technical assistance, and dependable food storage systems.
“There is a need, a great need to empower the rural farmers,” he says, “invest in small-scale farming because only then can Angola begin to liberate itself from food insecurity.”
People in Need (PIN) is a non-profit and non-governmental organization aimed at humanitarian aid around the world.
People in Need is part of the famed Alliance2015; a group of non-governmental organizations across the world who combined forces, so they could work together in a bid to eradicate poverty.
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On February this year 2018, People in Need launched a project aimed at improving food security in rural Angola. The project will focus on the vulnerable communities in Bie province. The first beneficiaries of this project will be the localities of Cassuanga, Chicala, and Ukuachalo in the municipality of Cuito and Nharea. Depending on the success of this first phase, there is a plan to launch this project in other rural localities.
This project has four main objectives.
The quality of the input determines a good output. This is especially true in the agriculture sector. A farmer must of necessity have quality seeds, fertilizer, required chemicals, and irrigation knowledge to curb over-reliance on unpredictable rain patterns.
People in Need is committed to providing such inputs to both small-scale and large-scale farmers in rural Angola. Also, People in Need will invest in educating the farmers on how to manage their output so that they have enough for both food and profit. The profit will allow the farmers to purchase inputs for the next planting season.
Angola’s staple cereals are maize, millet, and sorghum. These are the kinds of cereals that need mills.
In a maize mill, the machines process the maize for safe consumption such as daily use.
Similarly, in a millet mill, the millet is cleaned, graded and can be ground into flour for the making of a myriad of dishes.
Installing mills will go a long way in helping farmers have complete control of the farming process.
Statics put Angolan infant mortality rate as one of the highest in the world. An extremely sad statistic and a direct consequence of malnutrition and poverty.
People in Need hopes that by starting and establishing this project, Angolan citizens in the rural regions will have access to good food that will help combat malnutrition. At the same time, if the farmers can grow more than they need for food, then this can be a business opportunity that will help deal with the rampant poverty.
Where possible and applicable, People in Need is committed to providing technical assistance. The assistance is especially in the form of educating the farmers, so they can retain the knowledge for future generations.
The road towards food security in Angola is not and will not be an easy one. It will require sacrifice, resources, government intervention and a lot of goodwill. But projects like the one started by People in Need is a step in the right direction.