Jean Claude Bastos de Morais, the Swiss-Angolan entrepreneur wants Angola to start diversifying its economy with investments in the agricultural sector. The opportunity is ripe as Angola was featured on the 24th position in the African Investment Index, compiled by Quantum Global, which was founded by Jean Claude Bastos de Morais in 2007.
Angola has an army of young entrepreneurs that can turn small agricultural establishments into a large ‘agribusiness’ sector. For those who are alien to the latter term, agribusiness refers to the commercialization of agriculture into a bigger set-up where the use of machinery, tools, and latest farming practices are employed.
Currently, the Angolan agricultural sector only contributes 12% to the GDP. This number is still low in comparison to the potential the Angolan economy and infrastructure possesses. It’s the result of the lack of management, innovation skills and a dearth of trust between stakeholders in the agricultural sector, according to Jean Claude Bastos de Morais.
It’s why Mr Bastos de Morais has put his focus on nurturing emerging entrepreneurs. His project, Fábrica de Sabão, is an initiative to motivate the Angolan innovators to devise ideas in the field of agriculture sciences. Fábrica de Sabão is a hub and a workspace that invites young scientists, entrepreneurs, and modernizers to work on the economy and technology-altering projects.
Fábrica de Sabão brandishes a garden-cum-farm in its compound. Despite better agricultural arrangements than most of the African countries, Angola ranks higher in hunger statistics. Agricultural scientists are working on value-added options for the crops. They’re brainstorming ways to increase crop yield and decrease growth time.
Several other companies are coming to Angola’s aid, including Japan and Brazil. Japan is helping Angola with a project that will study the practicability of re-introducing cotton crops in some Angolan farms. Brazil, on the other hand, is going to work on Angola’ research capacity and provide a walkthrough to improve the agricultural science institution.
In the process, Angola needs to stay far from practices that may compromise the quality of crops. Genetically Modified (GMO) crops may decrease the growth time, but they may introduce harmful side-effects or a different taste that people are not accustomed to.
Angolan entrepreneurs won’t have much difficulty in raising an agriculture-based company. They can provide services to small farmers and offer consultation. Management of the farms with latest tools and technology will push crop quality and yield, thus helping the poor Angolan farmers in a number of ways. Jean Claude Bastos de Morais hopes that the trend of ‘agribusiness’ will catch up with the Angolan innovators. For the Angolan economy, agriculture is a safe bet.