Report Highlights:

There is currently no production of agricultural biotechnology in Angola, and GE imports are limited to food aid. In December 2014, the Council of Ministers approved Decree No. 92/04 as a provisional measure until the establishment of a comprehensive National Biosafety System capable of properly controlling the importation, entry, use and eventual production of genetically engineered organisms in the country.

Executive Summary

Agriculture accounts for 11 percent of Angola's US$129 billion GDP and provides employment, both formal and informal, for more than two-thirds of Angolans, mostly at subsistence levels. Prior to the 1975-2002 civil war, Angola was a major exporter of coffee, sisal, sugar cane, banana and cotton, and self-sufficient in all food crops except wheat. The civil war disrupted agricultural production and displaced millions of people. Angola currently imports more than half of its food, with some estimates putting the figure as high as 90 percent. Angola is United States' fifth largest market for poultry products in the world, and the third largest market in Africa for all agricultural exports.

Angola has the resources to be one of the leading agricultural countries in Africa, as its diverse and fertile ecology can host a variety of crops and livestock. However, the country currently only cultivates 8 percent of its 58 million hectares agricultural land available. An estimated 90 percent of farms in Angola are small to medium in size and are used mainly in communal ways for subsistence farming. The agricultural commodities produced include cassava, bananas, potatoes, maize, sweet potatoes, citrus and pineapples.

In recent years the government has attempted to diversify the economy by investing in reconstruction of the country's infrastructure, much of which was destroyed during the 1975-2002 civil war. Since 2005, the Angolan government has used billions of dollars in credit lines from China, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, and the European Union to rebuild Angola's public infrastructure. Agriculture, highly developed before the civil war, is another area of economy diversification prioritized by government.

In December 2014, the Council of Ministers approved Decree No. 92/04, limiting the use of biotechnology products to food aid usage, and restricting any production of genetically engineered (GE) products in Angola. This Decree stated that it would serve as a provisional measure until the establishment of a comprehensive National Biosafety System capable of properly controlling the importation, entry, use and eventual production of GE organisms in the country.

In 2015, FAS/Angola initiated discussions with the Government of Angola with the goal of supporting the development of Angola's regulatory framework for the production and use of biotechnology. FAS plans to work with the Ministry of Agriculture to organize seminars for public and private sector participants.

Plant and animal biotechnology

Chapter 1: Plant Biotechnology

Part A: Production and Trade

(a) PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Currently, there is not any GE product development taking place in Angola.

(b) COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION

Currently, there is not any GE commercial production taking place in Angola.

(c) EXPORTS

Not applicable.

(d) IMPORTS

Angola does not allow imports of GE seeds and grains except for Food Aid.

(e) FOOD AID RECIPIENT COUNTRY

Imports of genetically engineered grains for food aid must comply with the following rules, based on the recommendations of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC):

i. Before shipment of the GE product, the importing company must obtain a written authorization from the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development;

ii. All imports of GE food aid in the form of grain or seeds, must be milled shortly after importation and before distribution to beneficiaries, in order to avoid contamination of local varieties with GE events.

Part B: POLICY

(a) REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

In December 2014, the Council of Ministers approved Decree No. 92/04, limiting the use of biotechnology products to food aid usage, and restricting any production of GE products in Angola. This Decree stated that it would serve as a provisional measure until the establishment of a comprehensive National Biosafety System capable of properly controlling the importation, entry, use and eventual production of genetically engineered organisms in the country.

(b) Approvals

No plants or crops have been approved or registered in Angola for cultivation, imports or exports.

(c) FIELD TESTING

Angola does not allow public and private sector to pursue research of GE crops.

(d) STACKED EVENT APPROVALS

Not Applicable.

(e) ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Not Applicable.

(f) COEXISTENCE

Not Applicable.

(g) LABELING

Currently, no compulsory labeling of GE products or food containing GE products is necessary.

(h) TRADE BARRIERS

Not Applicable.

(i) INTELECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

Not Applicable.

(j) CARTAGENA PROTOCOL RATIFICATION

The National Assembly of Angola ratified the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety in 2002, based on the precautionary principle in relation to the introduction, release and use of GE organisms.

(k) INTERNATIONAL TREATIES/FORA

Angola is a signatory member inter alia of:

  • The Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the World Trade Organization (WTO-SPS)
  • Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex)

Angola works with:

  • International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO)

However, Angola has not taken an active role in discussions related to biotechnology in these fora.

(l) RELATED ISSUES

There are no other issues related to plant biotechnology that are not captured under the current headings.

(m) MONITORING AND TESTING

Not Applicable.

(n) LOW LEVEL PRESENCE POLICY

There is currently no low level presence policy in Angola.

PART C: MARKETING

(a) MARKET ACCEPTANCE

If any GE crop seed become available, post does not foresee any rejection from the commercial farmers, as the farmers have requested this technology for a long time.

(b) PUBLIC/PRIVATE OPINIONS

Most people in Angola are not aware about the technology. However, there is a wide variety of opinion on this matter among scientist, researchers and the government.

(c) MARKETING STUDIES

Post is not aware of any marketing studies on GE products conducted in Angola.

PART D: CAPACITY BUILDING AND OUTREACH

(a) ACTIVITIES

Cochran Fellowship Program (September 8-19, 2014): Shortly after the opening of the FAS office in Luanda in April 2014, FAS/Angola Agricultural Specialist participated in the Cochran Fellowship Program on Biotechnology at Michigan State University.

(b) STRATEGIES AND NEEDS

FAS/Pretoria's short term goals for biotechnology in Angola include:

  • Organizing a seminar in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture to raise awareness biotechnology among the public and private sector and to present the United States experiences with agricultural biotechnology.
  • Seeking opportunities for additional resources through CSSF funding, the State EB biotech program, EMP funding, and other available funding sources to raise awareness of the benefits of biotechnology and the development of science-based regulatory systems in Angola.
  • Collaborating with other like-minded countries such as Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa on outreach and training activities.

Chapter 2: ANIMAL Biotechnology

Part E: Production and Trade

(a) BIOTECHNOLOGY PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

Currently, there is not any GE animal development taking place in Angola.

(b) COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION

Currently, there is not any GE animal commercial production taking place in Angola.

(c) BIOTECHNOLOGY EXPORTS

Not applicable.

(d) BIOTECHNOLOGY IMPORTS

Angola does not have regulations regarding the import of GE animals, livestock clones, or animal products.

Part F: POLICY

(a) REGULATION

Angola does not have regulations regarding the development or use of GE animals, livestock clones, or animal products.

(b) LABELING AND TRACEABILITY

Not Applicable.

(c) TRADE BARRIERS

Not Applicable.

(d) INTELECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

Not Applicable.

(e) INTERNATIONAL TREATIES/FORA

Angola is not active in animal biotechnology discussions in international fora.

PART G: MARKETING

(a) MARKET ACCEPTANCE

Not Applicable.

(b) PUBLIC/PRIVATE OPINIONS

Most people in Angola are not aware about the technology. However, there is a wide variety of opinion on this matter among scientist, researchers and the government.

(c) MARKETING STUDIES

Post is not aware of any marketing studies on GE animal products conducted in Angola.

PART H: CAPACITY BUILDING AND OUTREACH

(a) ACTIVITIES

Not Applicable.

(b) STRATEGIES AND NEEDS Not Applicable