Maputo, Mozambique, 31 July – The Mozambican government intends to increase from 7,000 to 14,000 hectares the rice production area in Chókwè in Gaza province, as part of its program to end the cereal shortage by 2011, writes Notícias newspaper.
Currently the rice deficit in Mozambique is estimated at 315,000 tonnes, despite the country’s enormous potential for this crop and rice being considered to be a strategic crop in the Plan of Action for Food Production (PAPA), approved in 2008.
The governor of Gaza province, Raimundo Diomba, recently said that the Government was working with a view to garnering US$9 million in funding to expand the rice production area in Chokwe, which in the current season produced 30,000 tonnes of rice.
He also said that as well as revitalizing Chókwè’s irrigated land, several other initiatives, amongst which was funding for rice producers, were also in progress in the districts of Manjacaze, Bilene and Xai-Xai with potential for rice production, with a view to increasing productivity.
By 2011 the government wants to wipe out the deficit of the main foodstuffs and reduce the shortage of wheat by 20 percent. Wheat production is expected to total more than 21,000 tonnes this year as compared to around 3000 tonnes last season. (macauhub)