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From fighters to farmers: Aldeia Nova provides a lifeline for new beginnings

Article - June 5, 2015

Following the devastating effects of war, the province of Cuanza Sul is helping its people get back on their feet by pioneering innovative new farming projects, among which the Aldeia Nova project – which literally translates as “new farm” – is the most important 

Carried out in cooperation with the Angolan government, the Aldeia Nova project aims to help ease the social reintegration of ex-fighters from both sides of the Angolan civil war by providing them with a peaceful and sustainable means to earn a livelihood.

The two main production areas of the project are eggs and milk, and 15 sites are currently being used. For eggs, for example, farmers are provided with everything they need (chickens, feed, supplies) and once the eggs are ready, the Aldeia Nova corporation purchases the eggs from the farmers. For milk, the process is very similar, except that there is also a processing factory where the milk is transformed into yoghurt, butter, cheese, and other dairy products.

Now with a stock of more than 400,000 birds, the Aldeia Nova project has been growing tremendously. As of 2013, its beneficiaries (again, mainly former soldiers) had already been receiving a monthly income of over 120,000 kwanzas ($1,115). Although the Aldeia Nova project is still required to import some its bird feed to ensure its smooth operation, that will soon no longer be the case thanks to soaring internal agricultural production. Through its agricultural arm, the Aldeia Nova project is producing soy and corn over an area of nearly 3,100 acres, which is helping to greatly decrease its reliance on grain imports.

In parallel, delivering on its promise to assist in the development of non-oil related sectors, Aldeia Nova is also working with the government to maintain, build and fix several infrastructure projects, including bridges and roads which will greatly facilitate the production and trade of its agricultural products.