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ANGOLA: Agricultural Training

Local Partners: The Salesians (SDB)
Year: 2010

BACKGROUND
The country’s race to modernization has left the rural areas in the dust. Undesirable lands are continuously abandoned even when they sometimes represent the only viable source of livelihood.  To tackle the problem, the Government of Angola has recently developed a rural area known as Zang, giving it a school, a permanent medical dispensary and a technical school of agriculture. Nevertheless, the nearby town of Ndalatando is totally devoid of local food sources. This represents an enormous market opportunity for any type of agro-business since food products are currently being imported at a cost inaccessible to the majority of the population. Taking into account its closeness to Luanda, the capital of the country, Ndalatando represents a promising economic potential if its agriculture can be improved.

IMPLEMENTATION
The project aimed to improve the living conditions in and around Ndalatando, encouraging the return (especially of the young) to agriculture. It involved 18-to-25 year olds with technical training courses in agriculture providing pilot plots of new crops and basic processing and trading principles. A community center was created for the area. “Our goal was to contribute to the economic development of the Ndalatando area”, says Francesco Ferranti, one of the Salesians involved in the project. “To this end, we started offering technical training courses to create an EU agricultural pole to improve cultivation activities, to develop ‘pilot’ vegetable plots for new types of farming and offer services to transform and commercialize agricultural projects”. Though limited, these initiatives are practical and very useful; this is what Africans need.

Young farmers in training

RESULTS: YOUNG FARMERS TRAINED
15 young people between the age of 18 and 25 received agricultural training and are now able and motivated to promote farming among their peers throughout the region. By making the land seem more enticing and a potential source of income, the young are much less likely to stray, a very high risk in the cities.

RESULTS: WOMEN KNOWLEDGEABLE IN PRODUCT MARKETING
150 people living in the local area also benefitted from the program. In particular, the women in the local towns participated in the training in order to help improve agricultural production. They learned how to market the locally-produced products and provide for their families.

RESULTS: SELF-SUSTAINING CYCLE
The general population in and around Ndalatando benefited and will continue to benefit from the trainees’ capacity to produce and improve the food supplies and make them more readily available to the locals.