Maputo, Mozambique, 1 Dec – Around one million coconut palms are to be replanted in the provinces of Zambezia and Nampula to replace the same number of trees affected by lethal yellowing disease, Mozambican newspaper Notícias reported.
The replanting, which will take place as soon as the first rains come in this agricultural season, is part of a programme that will cost US$17.4 million and will benefit 50,000 families of the coastal districts of Zambezia.
The Mozambican minister for Planning and Development, Aiuba Cuereneia, who launched the Project to Combat Lethal Yellowing of the Coconut Palm and Income Support for Farmers for the two provinces in the city of Quelimane, said that the programme would provide income alternatives whilst the new palms were growing.
According to the minister this project aims to increase agricultural family income, improve productivity of coconut derivatives and encourage the diversification of cash crops.
Mozambique is Africa’s biggest exporter of coconut and its derivatives, and coconut production is an important crop in ensuring the economic and food security of around 1.7 million people on the coast of Zambezia and Nampula. (macauhub)