Mozambique: Government says there is a grain shortage

13 March 2008

Maputo, Mozambique, 13 March – Mozambique is this year facing a grain shortage of needs 1.25 million tons, the coordinator for the National Agricultural Development Program (Proagri), Fernando Songane said in Maputo.

Speaking to Mozambican news agency AIM, Songane said that despite improvements in maize production over the last few years, the country had a deficit of 500,000 tons of the grain.

Mozambique also needs to import 400,000 tons of rice per year and also has to import almost all the wheat it uses and Songane said that this year 350,000 tons would need to be imported.

Songane noted that agricultural productivity in Mozambique was very low and warned that in terms of maize, which has the lowest production levels in the whole of Southern Africa, it need to increase production four-fold in order to meet demand.

In the 2007 harvest, Mozambican farmers produced 2.168 million tons of grain, a rise of 3.4 percent year on year. (macauhub)