Japan and Brazil to help Mozambique convert savannah into agricultural land

25 August 2009

Tokyo, Japan, 24 Aug – Government officials from Japan and Brazil are due to meet in Mozambique in September to start drawing up a plan to transform the savannah into agricultural land, English-language Japanese newspaper the Japan Times reported.

The mission, which will include member of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and from Embrapa and the Brazilian Cooperation Agency, is expected to sign a tri-partied deal that will stipulate, amongst other aspects, the areas where the project will be carried out.

Speaking in Maputo at the end of a visit that the Japanese-Brazilian mission carried out to Maputo in July, the Japanese ambassador to Mozambique, Susumu Segawa, said that over the last 30 years Japan and Brazil had jointly implemented an agricultural development project known as, “Development of the Cerrado” and which has had “quite positive” results”.

Segawa also said that the project had been one of the most successful in bilateral cooperation between Japan and Brazil.

Speaking to the newspaper, Kenzo Oshima, the senior vice president of JICA said that the programme would take over 10 or even 20 years to show results but would help, “of that we are convinced” to reduce poverty in Africa.

According to the JICA, around 70 percent of the 800,000 square kilometres of Mozambique’s area is savannah, land which has the potential to be worked to produce, amongst other products, soy, rice, wheat, maize and cotton. (macauhub)