China to help Mozambique increase its rice production

31 March 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 31 March – The Chinese government plans to look at ways to help Mozambique increase its rice production, from the current 100,000 tons to 500,000 tons, following bilateral negotiations this week in Maputo.

The guarantee of China’s involvement in Mozambican rice production was given by China’s deputy trade minister, Wei Jianguo, during a visit to Mozambique over the last few days.

Mozambique’s agriculture minister, Tomás Mandlate, said “cooperation in China is quite important for the agricultural sector, especially in rice production, due to the vast Chinese experience in that area.”

Recently, a delegation from Hunan province, where China’s Hybrid Rice Institute is located, visited Mozambique to research the production of hybrid rice in Chókwe, in Gaza province, southern Mozambique.

Chókwe is one of the most fertile areas in Mozambique and was recently the target of a US$15 million investment granted by the Japanese government.

As part of its aim to increase rice production in Mozambique, the government is refurbishing the wet crop areas in Maputo and Inhambane, in the south, as well as in Sofala and Zambézia, in the center of the country.

A 300 hectare area is being used by rural worker associations to grow rice in Inhambane with support from Ireland, while similar schemes are underway in Nicoadala, Zambézia province. (macauhub)