Mozambican government to invest in production of improved seeds

29 June 2011

Maputo, Mozambique, 29 June – The government of Mozambique plans to invest 1 billion meticals (US$34.8 million) on the so-called National Programme for Strengthening the Seed Chain, which is intended to produce improved seeds for later distribution to farmers, the Agriculture minister said Tuesday in Maputo.

At the end of a Council of Ministers meeting, José Pacheco said that funding for the programme would be provided by the State Budget and programme support partners, the countries and organisations that provide aid to Mozambique.

“At the moment we have production levels of 6,000 tons of seed, of which 50 percent are maize, 32 percent are rice and the remaining 18 percent are of other crops,” Pacheco said adding that these were low figures to achieved levels of production and productivity projected for the agricultural sector.

In fact, Pacheco said, at the moment just 10 percent of Mozambique’s farmers benefit from improved seeds and the remaining 90 percent use grain as sees, which has a negative impact on agricultural production.

The minister also said that initially the seed programme would be launched in 2011/2012 and then expand until the 2014/2015 campaign, when seed production is expected to total 262,000 tons per year. (macauhub)