Maputo, Mozambique, 11 Aug – Japan’s International Cooperation Agency will finance a rice production program in Mozambique’s Zambezia province during three growing seasons, with technical assistance from Vietnam, Noticias newspaper has reported.
The US$ 3.5 million project is aimed to maximize rice growing potential in Zambezia, particularly in the districts of Nicoadala, Morrumbala, Chinde, Mopeia, Namacura, Maganja da Costa and Inhassunge.
Mozambique and Vietnam have a cooperation pact for intensive production of rice in Zambezia province, based on technological packages favoring irrigation and use of certified seeds and fertilizers.
Noticias said Mozambique’s potential rice producing area is about 900,000 hectares, of which only 200,000 hectares are under cultivation. Around 90 percent of areas approved for cultivation are in the provinces of Zambezia and Sofala.
The provinces of Nampula and Cabo Delgado account for 7 percent of the total rice growing land and the remaining 3 percent is in the south of the country, mainly concentrated in the Chokwe district of Gaza province.
Meanwhile, the government has defined a total 19 districts with high potential for rice production, with seven of these in the province of Zambezia, three in Sofala, one in Nampula, two in Cabo Delgado, two in Maputo and four in Gaza.
The Maputo authorities aim to achieve a production of 898,094 metric tons in three growing seasons from 2008/9. Mozambique’s rice consumption deficit is estimated at around 316,000 tons. (macauhub)