Knowledge for Development

Sugar cane to return to Angola in biofuel move


Date: 20/10/2009


Angola will begin planting sugar cane for the first time in more than 30 years as the oil-rich country takes its first step toward biofuels. A 30,000 hectare (74,000-acre) site in Malanje province, east of Luanda, is the first biofuel project to get off the ground in Angola where the government is trying to revive farming after decades of war. The scheme is also part of efforts to diversify the economy away from its dependence on oil and diamonds, which have powered a post-war boom since Angola's civil conflict ended in 2002. The leftover fibrous remains from the cane, along with the leaves and waste heat from the sugar processing will be used to produce electricity – around 217 megawatts a year – which will be used locally. Angola is the latest in a line of African countries giving over land to companies for non-food crops, a trend that raises concerns for rural communities at the level of the United Nations. (Source: AFP, 30 August 2009)