Maputo, Mozambique, 3 Feb – Mozambique is in the list of 12 African countries that will benefit from a credit of US$4.2 billion for rice production and other development projects, Rádio Moçambique reported in Maputo.
The radio station noted that the funding had been announced by the representative of the Japanese National Rice Development Strategy, Hiroshi Chioroaka speaking Wednesday in Abuja, during a meeting on rice production held jointly with the African Alliance for the Green Revolution and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.
Chioroaka said that the government of his country had also announced, via its Finance Ministry, loans of US$150 million to fund technical cooperation projects and of US$100 million to support the World Bank Project for Rice Development in Africa.
According to Chioroaka, as well as Mozambique, the list of countries includes Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda.
This support may contribute to efforts made by the Mozambican government to mass produce rice with a view to eliminating imports of the crop by 2011.
Lat June, the government approved the National Plan for Food Production, 2008/2011, with the aim of reducing the deficit of the main food products such as rice and wheat, boosting and promoting production on a wide-scale of maize and cassava, crops of which the country currently has a surplus.
Mozambique currently has a deficit of 316,000 tonnes of rice. Annual requirements of this cereal total 539,000 tonnes, but the country produces just 223,000 tonnes. (macauhub)