Maputo, Mozambique, 23 Dec – The Mozambican government wants to raise US$645 million by 2019 to fund a Strategic Irrigation Plan, the spokesman for the Council of Ministers said Tuesday in Maputo.
Alberto Nkutumula, who is also the deputy Justice Minister, said at the end of the Council of Ministers meeting that the government had secured US$135 million and that by 2019 it hoped to raise the remaining US$510 million through public and private investments.
“Only two percent of total arable land is covered by irrigation, the remaining 98 percent depends on rain,” the spokesman said, adding that the plan, the first phase of execution of which would begin in 2011, aimed to increase agricultural production and yield, ensure food security and generate employment as well as increase the income of producers in rural and urban areas.
There are currently 62,000 hectares of land covered by irrigation systems, of which 26,000 were recovered in the 2011 to 2009 period, and it was the government’s aim to expand the irrigated area by at least 50,000 hectares by 2019, part of which through private investment. (macauhub)