Mozambique may become cereal exporter after 2015

23 March 2010

Tokyo, Japan, 23 Mar – Mozambique may become a cereal exporter starting in 2015, when its government hopes to achieve food self-sufficiency with the help of technical and financial aid from Japan and Brazil, an official from the Mozambican Agriculture Ministry stated during a visit to Tokyo.

Ventura Macamo, who is an advisor to Agriculture Minister Soares Nhaca, said “the government would like to end the deficit in rice production.”

“The Mozambican government believes that five years of good investment can probably make Mozambique self-sufficient,” he added.

Mozambique currently consumes about 500,000 tonnes of rice, but produces only 260,000 tonnes and depends on imports to make up for the shortfall.

Exports from Mozambique could heighten competition in the world rice market, currently dominated by Thailand and Vietnam, besides helping alleviate poverty and malnutrition in Africa.

Yutaka Hongo, an official from Japan’s International Cooperation Agency, said in turn that “Brazil’s emergence as a major exporter of cereals has largely helped stabilize prices and ensure the availability of agricultural products.”

Japan and Brazil recently began a project aiming to transform Mozambique’s tropical savannah into farmland.