ANGOLA – The Quiminha Integrated and Regional Agricultural Project, a US$307 million agribusiness project has halted its plan to export bananas and potatoes to Europe due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to Quiminha’s deputy director-general, Pedro Silveira, the cancellation was also as a result of non certification of the products, reports Angola Press.
Quiminha was initiated in 2015 through an US$307 million planned investment as part of the Angolan government to transform the country’s agricultural sector after decades of internal conflict that has resulted in a situation where most of Angola’s food is imported – at a high cost to consumers.
Upon completion, the project is estimated to bring over 60 000 tons of locally grown produce onto the Angolan market. Quiminha planned to export, in a first phase, eight thousand tonnes of potatoes and bananas/year, a quantity that will change according to the demand and needs of the European market.
In an interview with AngolaPress, Pedro explained that the export process could start this year, as soon as the bureaucratic issue is handled, but the new reality brough about by the global pandemic forced the postponement.
However, Pedronoted that internally, the company has created almost all the conditions necessary for the project to materialize and, as soon as public health is stable, banana and potato exports will begin.
Considered the largest agricultural project in Angola, the Quiminha Farm is fed by the largest water pumping centre in the country, which uses the Bengo River to deliver nine thousand cubic meters of water per hour, a report by the media house reveals.
Located in Quiminha region of Angola, 40 kilometres south-east of Luanda, the integrated project includes a logistics centre that guarantees the conservation and the process of disposal of all production, including small producers installed in Quiminha.
It has a cultivation area of 5,000 infra-structured hectares, employing 600 people in the production of 35 thousand tonnes of fruits, vegetables, cereals, oilseeds, roots and tubers per year.
Since its constitution, the Angolan State has invested more than US$150 million in the infrastructure of the Quiminha Agricultural Centre and handed over the concession for the operation and management of the project, for seven years, counting from 2016, to Agroquiminha.
The Angolan government has also partnered with Israeli infrastructure company, Tahal, as the project’s technological partner. Local sources indicate that the firm has already invested US$10 million in a feed mill and in a logistics centre.
The logistics centre has four silos, whose capacity is five thousand tonnes for the storage of cereals and legumes, as well as cold stores for the conservation of products.
Along with fruit, various vegetables, roots and tubers, Quiminha also invested in poultry breeding and has a current annual production of 24 million eggs, representing a doubling of production compared to the last two years.
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