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Angola’s Blooming Banana Plantations Offer New Hope…

Joe Brock | Reuters Africa   in 
May 20, 2015

CAXITO, Angola (Reuters) – After decades of civil war destroyed Angola’s fertile farmland and a booming oil industry pushed out all other commerce, Santa Rodrigo wondered how she could ever bring up her five children in the poverty that surrounded them.

Angola’s government spends more on its military than any other department, and is often criticised for failing to answer the needs of its population – there are many like Rodrigo – while industries like manufacturing and food production have collapsed.

So the result of an investment in 2005 to irrigate the land where Santa Rodrigo lives – Caxito, around 60 kilometres from the capital Luanda – is being seized upon by observers and economists as a success story they hope to see repeated.

Banana plantations are thriving again in the tropical plains of Caxito, to such an extent that Angola, which imports 90 percent of its food at a cost of $5 billion a year, has finally been able to stop importing bananas.

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