The Republic of Angola covers 1,247,000 km² in the western region of Southern Africa. It is the second largest country south of the Sahara after the Democratic Republic of Congo. The country contains six major geomorphologic areas: Coastal area, marginal mountain chains, the old tableland, Zaire basin and the basins of the Zambezi and Cubango. Angola has two seasons, the rainy and dry (cacimbo) seasons, with an average annual rainfall of 400 mm and lowest and highest average temperatures at 18˚C and 35 ˚C respectively.
Angola is potentially one of the richest countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with climate conditions conducive for agro-pastoral activities throughout the year. Angola boasts of excellent hydrographical basins represented by seven major rivers and two smaller groups of rivers.
Agricultural production and productivity in the country is generally low due mainly to the insignificant use of available technology. By resorting to simple technologies, such as the use of fertilizers, phytosanitary treatment and the use of improved seeds, it would be possible to substantially increase and diversify crop production and income in the country. However, only 3.5 million of the 35 million hectares of the vast arable in the country is being utilized.
Irrigation agriculture is not common in the country. Only 23,000 hectares are irrigated. Water irrigation schemes are mainly small ditches fitted with water-pumps. Local heavy rains cause recurrent flash floods mainly in the plateau areas. Soil erosion is a major environmental concern due to farming and other related landuse activities such as the clearing of forests, farming on slopes as well as uncontrolled bushfires.
The major food commodities grown in Angola include maize, cassava, beans, groundnuts and vegetables. Basic food production in the Angola has been on the increase over the last few years, both in terms of the distribution of agricultural land, use of fertilizers and technical support provided.