South African farmers may produce food in Angola

Mr Senzeni Zokwana, the South African Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said there were plans to approach Angola for the availability of land for South African farmers to produce staple grains to counteract grain shortages during drought.

Zokwana was a keynote speaker at the African Agri Investment Indaba in Cape Town, where industry experts shared knowledge on how to attract investment to the continent. Agriculture not only provides 65% of the employment in Africa, but 60% of the available arable land globally is in sub-Saharan Africa.

According to estimates from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation, an increase of 70% in food production will be needed by 2050 to provide for the estimated world population of 9,7 billion.

Zokwana said in an interview after his address that a meeting still needed to be organised with Angola to draft a memorandum of understanding to enable South African farmers to produce staples like rice, maize and wheat.

He says Angola is ideal because of sufficient rain in the region. With the climate change factor that forces the South African agricultural sector to approach farming differently, this would be the ideal opportunity to establish agricultural networks in Africa and to enhance trade on the continent.

Mr Mike Mlenaga, Director-General from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries already told the South African parliament about the idea to produce food for the nation somewhere else on the continent.

According to him it makes sense for the country to produce crops in the winter for the South African market in equatorial countries in Africa.

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