A P R I L 2 0 1 7 20 POTATO GROWER arable land is used for livestock pro- duction. There is a substantial amount of land that is referred to as ‘bush’, as it has returned to natural vegetation after the Portuguese farmers left over 45 years ago and has not been farmed in that time because of continual civil war and now because of the low economic situation most land owners face. To begin farming, the land has to be cleared and prepared. The large operating farms being developed are those owned by people who have financial resources. These people sense a great opportunity for agri- culture. Angola currently does not produce sufficient food for its peo- ple, as demonstrated by the fact that Angola has to import potato, corn, rice and most other food crops. Production of crops such as corn, soybean, sweet potato, cassava, Irish potatoes, banana, mango, passion fruit and some other fruits and veg- etables are common. Local village people have dogs, cows, chickens and goats. Many locals have a small amount of land for subsistence farming, often between 2.5 to 5 acres. Because they are raising food only for their families, there is not much incentive to produce high yields and they are satisfied with a lesser yield. Some work has begun to purchase excess potatoes from local subsistence farmers and sell it to improve conditions for these local land plot farmers. The challenge is the potatoes are of poor quality because local potato farmers replant the seed year after year, often in the same plot of land, and lack resources to grow a healthy crop. However, there is interest in improving pro- duction quality and yield because of the financial incentive. Although potato production is small, potatoes are commonly con- sumed. They are found in the stores as white potatoes for table use and dull-red skinned tubers for frying at home. Potatoes at the grocery store are from local produce or imported from other African countries. The ones I encountered were imported from South Africa, though I was told that potatoes are also imported from Namibia. The imported potatoes were washed and graded, while the local potatoes were not. Generally, what was received from the local subsistence farmers was gathered from the field and then displayed at the store without any effort to grade or improve the appearance of the potato. Only in one location I visit- ed had they sorted the local pota- toes in preparation for selling. The larger and better appearance pota- toes were bagged in 22 lb bags and the smaller potatoes were saved for seed. Despite the many challenges they face, there are those in Angola who have a vision of what the future could hold. Just as the pothole-full road took me from one agriculture area to another, these people with vision are determined to traverse the challenge-filled path that will lead to an improved economic situation for Angolans. With some time and effort, there is great potential for Angolans to use their land and water resources to provide sufficient food for their population. Potatoes are a great crop to jump start the farming economy by providing a large amount of food and value to the people of Angola. Newly emerging potato plants