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Angola: Rice Crop Grow and Food Security Reinforcement

Rice is the staple food of more than three billion people around the world. In Angola it is the most consumed food after maize and cassava. At a time when the country population increases at an approximate annual rate of 3.27% associated to an economic and financial crisis, demand for food is increasing and prices are getting higher. Currently the country lives mainly on imports, spending big sums to import more than 400000 tons of rice per year to meet the internal market needs. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that some countries have banned or restricted their rice exports, leading to a shortage and a rise in prices on the world market. These problems threaten the food security of the Angolan population, increasing hunger and poverty every few years. However, the country has the potential to invest in national rice production, thus replacing imports. This work analyses and discusses how this objective can be achieved, starting from the agroecological potential of the Angolan territory, passing through a summary characterization of the different scales of existing rice production systems in the country and ending with a diagnosis of the main fragilities and constraints that limit the expansion of the area and productivity of the rice crop. The main aim of the suggested strategy is to contribute to increase the quantity and quality of rice production in order to ensure that sufficient quantities of rice are available to meet the needs of the internal market demand. For that, public policies should be able to support rice producers through activities such as providing farmers with new technologies and modern sustainable rice cultivation techniques, promoting local agricultural experimentation and rural extension, as well as helping farmers to reduce post-harvest losses and marketing risks.