Maputo, Mozambique, 15 July – Within the next three years Mozambique will start to produce enough rice to meet domestic demand, estimated at around 315,000 tonnes per year, according to the Minister of Agriculture, Soares Nhaca.
Speaking to Mozambican news agency AIM, Nhaca said that the provinces of Maputo and Gaza, in southern Mozambique, and Zambézia, in central Mozambique would be essential to efforts to reduce the rice deficit in the country.
“We hop that both the district of Matutuíne, in Maputo province, and other regions with enormous potential for rice production, namely Chókwè, in Gaza province, and others in Zambézia, will increase the areas for production of this grain, taking into account the deficit,” the minister said.
He also said that the Ministry of Agriculture was making efforts to Mozambique to produce between 20 and 30,000 tonnes of rice this season.
Around 250 hectares of land for rice production are available in the Mucelo irrigation area, in Nicoadala district, Zambézia, which was renovated under the terms of a project funded by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
In 2007 grain production in Mozambique was estimated at around 2.2 million tonnes (1.6 million of which was maize), or 10 percent more than in 2006.
Despite this progress, the authorities estimate that the grain deficit totals around 500,000 tonnes, mainly due to a lack of wheat and rice. (macauhub)