Stamped “From Angola, with love”, boxes of still-green bananas were shifted one-by-one from a towering stack of crates into a refrigerated shipping container. The fruit is being shipped to consumers 6 000km away and are part of Luanda’s drive to diversify its economy and wean itself from its dependence on oil.

Novagrolider, a privately-owned company, produces several dozen tons of bananas every week to be shipped to Portugal. At Novagrolider’s Caxito 600-hectare plantation 60km northwest of Luanda, the banana plants, protected with blue plastic bags, bend under the weight of their fruit.

Back in Caxito, the province’s top agriculture official, Eliseo Mateos, said: “Bananas are our ‘green fuel’ – here we have one possible way of diversifying the economy.” In the decade that followed the bloody 27-year civil war that ended in 2002, Angola enjoyed strong double-digit growth fuelled by oil, which accounts for 90% of Angola’s exports and 70% of government revenues. Click here to read the full article. – Economic Times