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Sunday, 5 October 2008

The quest for agriculture supremacy..

Angola has launched an ambitious plan to exploit both its fertile soils and high global food prices to attract $6bn (€4.3bn, £3.4bn) in agriculture investments over the next five years. In recent years, Angola’s abundant oil and diamonds have attracted significant interest from foreign investors. The government is keen to avoid the resource curse, and is now focusing on expanding agriculture production, through mega farms.

The FT article notes that challenges to attracting private-sector farming giants include Angola's "clogged ports and red tape...corruption fears and competing claims to land rights". The issue of "land rights" is the most commonly discussed , but actually the Angolan government has not struggled significant with this issue - see From MFEZs to satellite towns? and Rising food prices...the Angolan approach... With the government now having a large mandate following the Parliamentary elections, these issues will be even less pronounced. My view is that the greatest challenge is likely to be with "port capacity", especially with growing demand from Zambia. Although even here, the government appears alert to the need for expansion. See here.

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