Mozambique: Government may buy rice from China to deal with food crisis

21 May 2008

Maputo, Mozambique, 21 May – Mozambique may buy rice from the People’s Republic of China in order to deal with the world food crisis, said the minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, António Fernando, who recently visited China.

The minister also said that Mozambique could buy “enough to supply the market” for the next six months.

Fernando said that purchasing Chinese rice would help MOzambique to deal with the current grain crisis.

He did not say how much rice Mozambique planned to buy from China, but noted that “these are quantities that we think are enough for the market over the next six months.”

The statement follows the Arab Bank for Economic Development of Africa’s (BADEA) pledge earlier this month to provide Mozambique with loans in order to deal with teh food crisis.

According to the Agriculture minister, Soares Nhaca, Mozambique has a rice production deficit of some 315,000 tonnes.

Forecasts for overall grain production in Mozambique in 2007 pointed to 2.1 million tonnes. Of this total, 1.4 million tonnes are accounted for by maize.

BADEA has supported several development projects in Mozambique including defending the coast and the balance of payments.

Relations between Mozambique and BADEA go back to 1975, when the first agreement was signed to support the country’s balance of payments.

Mozambique has several rice production projects in several of the country’s provinces, in which Indian technicians are involved. (macauhub)