Assessment of agricultural information needs in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States for CTA’s Products and Services: Country Study: Angola
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Ribeiro, Vera ; Norfolk, Simon ; Terra Firma Lda. 2006. Assessment of agricultural information needs in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States for CTA’s Products and Services: Country Study: Angola. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52368
The objectives of this study are to develop a strategy for CTA’s approach to post-conflict countries, to improve the effectiveness of CTA’s support for post-conflict countries and to compile baseline data on the status of ICM and ICTs in agriculture..
Executive summary Introduction CTA works primarily through intermediary organisations and partners (non-governmental organisations, farmers’ organisations, regional organisations) to promote agriculture and rural development and to deliver its various information products and capacity building services. By partnering with these organisations, CTA seeks to increase the number of ACP organisations capable of generating and managing information and developing their own information and communication management strategies. This study is one of six country assessment studies of needs for agricultural information needs in countries emerging from prolonged conflict situations in Africa. Objectives The objectives of this study are to develop a strategy for CTA’s approach to post-conflict countries, to improve the effectiveness of CTA’s support for post-conflict countries and to compile baseline data on the status of ICM and ICTs in agriculture and rural development in Angola. Methodology The country profile was produced through a desktop study that relied heavily on information available on the Internet. Additional information was obtained from informants through e-mail contacts. Using the desktop study we compiled a list of key institutions to interview. This list was discussed via e-mail with CTA and informants in Angola. Informants of nine key institutions were then interviewed face-to-face. Expected results This study will provide: 1) an inventory of the status of agricultural information services, institutions and other actors and their needs as their relate to physical infrastructure, information availability and access and human capacity development; 2) an assessment of the current and / or planned interventions of the government and bi- or multilateral agencies in the field of information for agriculture and rural development; 3) an overview of the needs of potential partners for CTA activities and services in terms of building capacity for information and communication management; 4) a short-list of potential partners / beneficiaries for CTA activities and services; 5) baseline data to facilitate subsequent monitoring activities. The study will also provide a framework for CTA to develop a framework for action and fashion a strategy aimed at institutions in countries emerging from conflict situations and provide input into its 2006 – 2010 strategic plan. Findings During the civil war between UNITA and the Angolan Government that lasted until 2002, the infrastructure in Angola, especially in rural areas, was almost completely destroyed. Since 2002, up to 4.5 million displaced people were resettled in their area of origin or preference and received emergency support. About 2.2 million households (75% of the population) are engaged in subsistence agriculture. Agricultural production is still low but growing rapidly. Since 2002 the area under cultivation has increased with 50 % to 3.2 million hectare but that represents still only 5% of all arable land and Angola still imports about half of its cereal requirements. The main export crops are coffee and palm oil. Livestock numbers are also increasing rapidly since 2002. The production is concentrated in the southern provinces. Access to water is the main constraint for livestock holders in these areas. Fisheries are an important sector, providing direct employment to 35,000 people. Firewood and charcoal are an important source of income for up to 18% of the rural households and the only source of energy to almost all rural households. Timber production is concentrated in Cabinda province. Agriculture, forestry and fisheries contribute 8% to the GNP. Because of the weak infrastructure and the focus on emergency projects, which spent only the minimum on obtaining information and ICM, there is limited information available about the situation in rural areas. The information that is available is fragmented and scattered in many project evaluation reports. To cope with this situation, an informal network of information exchange has developed between NGOs, GoA and bi- and multilateral agencies in Angola over the last four years. The language barrier and outdated libraries are the main obstacles encountered by organisations searching for technical information on agriculture. Limited access to mass media and weak infrastructure are the main obstacles encountered in extension activities. There is currently no national strategy on information management and none of the organisations interviewed had an organisational strategy on information management. Organisations working in the area of agriculture and rural development are now changing to development activities and this change is accompanied by some important changes in information demands. Firstly, there is an increased need for active participation in the planning and implementation of activities by the target group. Secondly, new actors are coming in, while present ones are leaving. Thirdly, it is expected that rural households in Angola will increase production above subsistence level in the near future and will be looking for opportunities to market excess production or divert resources to cash crops. Fourthly, the government is relaxing media controls, allowing freer communication between all stakeholders and a potential increase in the use of media by NGOs. Conclusions Most respondents need information on the actual situation on the ground. Existing information produced between 2002 and 2006 is scattered over many organisations and reports. This information must be consolidated in a data-base before the main implementers leave Angola. Respondents also need information about developments in thinking on food security, rural livelihoods, participatory approaches to resource management and rural development preferably in the form of reference books. Furthermore, information is needed on micro credit and support to associations. This information should be in the form of manuals and exchange visits to successful projects, preferably in Portuguese speaking and/or African countries. Finally, technical information on food crops and fisheries is needed. Respondents need capacity building in information management to increase the effectiveness of the organisation. Especially government officials requested training in the analysis of socio-economic data. Training in the design of questionnaires and in training the interviewers is also necessary. Furthermore, respondents wanted training in the use of the Internet to obtain information and in the design and development of websites, in effective writing and the development of extension materials, in the use of participatory methods and in demand driven extension. Finally, some respondents wanted training in the use of mass media, especially radio and in the production and use of audio-visual training material. Recommendations We recommend that CTA support IDA with the development of a national IMC strategy for agricultural information that will encourage a pro-poor and gender sensitive development strategy. CTA should also supports IDA, FONGA and ADRA with the establishment of an institutional ICM. This would include building a data-base with all information produced to date. Additionally CTA should support a policy for the use of mass media, especially community radio in extension programmes. Simultaneously, the most needed information will have to be made available at central level for ongoing work. Small libraries can be set up for this at IDA and FONGA. Second, a programme of capacity building is needed to enable all actors to implement the policies formulated in the first phase. This programme should be accompanied by a limited provision of resources (Internet access, increased libraries). Trained personnel musts have the resources to use their new skills to implement activities. Successful approaches used at central level can be replicated at provincial level during this stage. Care must be taken that the information system remains pro-poor and gender sensitive. Possibly, specific actions to help prevent the spread of HIV and mitigate its effects should be taken during this phase. Finally, in the long term, specific technical information will need to be supplied for specific target groups such as fish breeders and farmers specialising in niche markets.