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World Bank provides USD 230 million to support commercial agriculture


Fri, 30 Oct 2020 09:27 - Updated Fri, 30 Oct 2020 09:26

Luanda - The World Bank and the French Development Agency make available USD 230 million to support Commercial Agriculture Development Project (PDAC) in Angola.


The four-component project will help reduce, in some cases, do away with obstacles in this field, aimed to speed up the process, said Thursday the project’s coordinator, Pedro Dozi.

Speaking to Angop, Dozi said that the objective is to help increase aggregate production per standard unit in the selected value chains and support the rise in average gross sales by agricultural / non-agricultural activities of beneficiary farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

He spoke of the increasing the portfolio of farmers with technical and financial assets or services.

He said that first experience for creation of conditions for productive alliances begins on November 3 of this year, covering the provinces of Malanje, Cuanza Norte and Cuanza Sul, adding that  400 farmers have been identified.

After evaluating this first experience, the PDAC plans to extend to the provinces of Uíge, Benguela, Huambo, Bié, Huíla, Bengo and Luanda.

"We are making efforts and creating conditions for the number of beneficiaries to increase and we can achieve the project's development objectives", he guaranteed.

So far, more than 300 expressions of interest for project financing have been submitted to the PDAC, of ​​which 46 have business plans that are being analysed and improved to benefit from funds.
 

Meanwhile, the investment package has four fundamental execution components.

They are the promotion and support for the development of agro-business (USD 80 million), production and marketing infrastructures (USD 95 million), institutional strengthening and improvement of the business environment (USD 40 million) and project management, monitoring and evaluation (USD 15 million).


In the process of adjusting the procedures, according to the project coordinator, the implementation of the PDAC will allow increased productivity and access to the markets of small and medium-sized companies in the agricultural sector and agribusiness.

Project interventions include, co-financing and technical assistance, the restoration of infrastructure to support agriculture and the improvement of the business environment.

"At the moment, in terms of co-financing, there are four projects completed and submitted to commercial banks for the analysis of the feasibility of accessing credit," said Pedro Dozi.


In the process of preparing business plans, 13 projects are underway.

 

In terms of the recovery of agricultural infrastructure, the coordinator said that a survey of the needs for rehabilitation and subsequent recovery of the irrigated perimeter of Bom Jesus, in Luanda, is taking place.

The infrastructure, he added, has the potential to benefit approximately 250 farmers, implying an investment in the order of USD 580, 000.

As for the business environment improvement package, PDAC financed the first phase of the establishment of the Single Window of Foreign Trade (JUCE), which will use the ASYCUDA system (digital platform that allows the prior clearance of goods), with the support of United Nations Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

This system, according to Pedro Dozi, will reduce the flow of exports and is budgeted at USD 494,000.

At the moment, he said, fieldwork is taking place with farmers in Malanje, Cuanza Sul and Cuanza Norte, who have not yet prepared business plans, to benefit from the funds.

The aim of this project, led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, is to helps improve productive efficiency, access to finance in the sector and allows to increase the availability of agricultural products produced by Angolans.

PDAC has a credit line to reduce disruptions in agricultural supply chains, with plans to extend these (credit lines) and working capital until 31 December this year.