Agriculture Minister calls for boost to agri-business to make Mozambique more competitive

20 September 2011

Maputo, Mozambique, 20 Sept – Mozambique’s Agriculture minister Monday called for Mozambican famers to focus on agri-business as a way of boosting the country’s competitiveness.

The agriculture minister noted that Mozambique’s commercial network, mainly in terms of perishable goods, was still dependent on South Africa, which is the largest economy in the region and in Africa.

José Pacheco said that he was working towards inverting Mozambique’s situation in relation to South Africa and gave the example that Mozambique was already exporting high quality bananas to the neighbouring country.

According to the Agriculture Minister, the strategic plan for development of agriculture identifies six areas for agricultural production on a large scale, specifically in the Maputo corridor, the Limpopo corridor, the Beira corridor, the Zambezi Valley, the Nacala corridor and finally, Pemba/Lichinga.

In all of these areas agricultural activities can be developed to produce rice, potatoes, vegetables, cotton, maize, beans, soy, peanuts and wheat.

The strategic plan, according to Pacheco, aims to produce food in order to achieve food security, which is food production for domestic consumption and for export to other international markets including China and Gulf countries such as Dubai and Saudi Arabia.

Many projects involving a number of countries such as Brazil and Japan in the so-called Prosavana project, are being analysed in order to develop the agri-business sector in Mozambique.

Mozambique has total arable land of 36 million hectares, but only a tiny part of this is being used.

According to Mozambican newspaper Notícias, cotton and sugar cane in Mozambique are expected to post higher rates of growth of both production and yield in the 2011/2012 agricultural campaign. (macauhub)