Training courses on fruit and vegetables processing held by FAO’s Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division (AGS) in Angola

Two theoretical-practical training courses on fruit and vegetable processing were recently carried out in Angola by an Agro-Industries Officer from FAO’s Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries Division (AGS).

The first course took place from 21  to 24 June 2013 at the Instituto Superior Politecnico de Namibe, where 35 people were trained using the Training of Trainers (ToT) modality. The training was part of the activities of a Technical Cooperation Program of FAO  supporting the development of agricultural production capacities and livelihoods in the province of Namibe, in Southeast Angola (TCP/ANG/3402).

The second course took place from 26 June to 1 July 2013 at the Salesian training centre Cidadela Jovens de Sucesso in the Cabiri district of the Province of Luanda, where 24 people were trained under the United Nations funded project on conservation and processing of foods to reduce post-harvest losses, poverty and under nutrition (UNFA/ANG/050/UND).

The training programme covered processing methods such as solar drying, sugared products (marmalade, juices, jam, nectars), dill pickle products, tomato products (juice, pure, whole canned tomatoes) and frozen products, all of which use local raw materials. Besides the technological issues, the courses also included fundamental aspects of quality, safety and marketing.  In both training courses, most participants expressed in an assertive manner that they were motivated to continue providing training  in these areas. Some also expressed their intent to initiate small agro-industries enterprises themselves.

Although both events were held at training centres, the one in Cabiri is planning to create a technical unit for transfer of technology in the region and to produce processed food, as a means to generate income and enhance its economic sustainability.

Both training courses have received high visibility in the Angolan press as they help build capacity in adding value to produce from horticulture thereby reducing post-harvest losses, creating employment and ensuring food security. The government has already mobilized USD 600 000 for a follow-up project which will upscale this approach across the country.

AGS is ready to continue providing technical advice to the Angolan trainees and their institutions, within the scope of future technical cooperation programs and projects.