Angolan Fruit Exports in 2024

Tropical fruits grow abundantly in Angola, especially along its coastal provinces. With the right policies, the sector could contribute to growing Angolan fruit exports in 2024.

Image credit: Shutterstock / Marcos Casiano

Angola produces 5.5 million tons of fruit per year, and is one of the world’s biggest producers of tropical fruits. The country produces 4.4 million tons of bananas a year, making it the most cultivated fruit in the country. This also makes Angola the biggest producer of bananas in Africa and the seventh-largest producer in the world. But how can the government increase Angolan fruit exports in 2024?

Other cultivated fruits include citrics, pineapples, and avocados, the latter of which Antonio Francisco de Assis, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, singled out for special mention in a recent interview with TBY. “Mexico, for example, is one of the main avocado producers. However, it does not produce enough avocado to serve demand. Angola has a strategic location and the proper soil to harvest excellent avocados,” said the minister, who went on to highlight the need for specific programs to bolster production going forward.

Currently, 51,000 metric tons of the fruit is produced each year, placing it fifth in the pecking order, behind Mangos (236,000 metric tons), citrus fruits (415,000 metric tons), pineapples (570,000 metric tons), and bananas, according to 2019 data from Statista.

In export terms, private projects are seeing fruit exporters to countries such as Portugal, Zambia, and DRC, while the government is exploring roads into the US. The largest challenge to increasing exports, however, will be to increase the total cultivated area. At present, the country cultivates only 10% of its 35 million ha of arable land.

The government is keen to make progress in this area, and is focused on offering incentives to potential investors in order to attract capital and by doing so, increasing the total production.

That said, its first aim is to fulfil local demand and reduce the reliance on imports, which have hovered between USD23 and 32 million since 2015 according to a report commissioned by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.

On the domestic retail front, a relatively well-developed formal sector offers a strong platform for sales, with prices often higher than world market prices, offering a strong incentive for local investment. There is also a strong local fruit juice segment, with numerous local brands sourcing products domestically.

The Provinces of Benguela, Huambo, and Kwanza Sul, on the west coast, represent 40% of fruit production, with 83 commercial fruit farms in Benguela and Huambo alone, producing mostly citrus and pineapple. According to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency report, Benguela boasts the best conditions for the development of fruit production, thanks to its altitude and slightly lower rainfall.

The litoral area, it suggests, could help Angola become the “Peru of Africa,” although this will include a range of government support, such as clearer private sector incentives to invest in fruit farms, a land bank available for investors at key fruit production locations, the development of irrigation schemes along the coast, and enhanced sector support services.

Going forward, tropical fruits, like other commodity areas such as coffee, offers up plenty of potential for growth. Should conditions allow, Angola is well placed to begin reducing imports, bolstering exports, and working to increase value across the supply chain with the wider goal of economic diversification in mind.