Maputo, Mozambique, 14 Dec – The government of Mozambique plans to invest, over the next 10 years, around US$540 million in irrigation as a way of driving agricultural production and productivity in the country, said that national director for Agricultural Services of the Agriculture Ministry.
Cited by Mozambican newspaper Diário de Moçambique, Mahomed Valá said that the move was part of the national irrigation strategy and was particularly focused on production of vegetable and rice, which require a lot of water.
Valá noted it was proven that there was a need to focus on irrigation to reach desired levels of agricultural production in Mozambique, which does not mean giving up on dry land irrigation, which is practiced by around 98 percent of the population.
According to Valá, due to the significant investments in irrigation over the next five years the country will be able to considerably reduce dependence on foreign aid in terms of rice and other vegetables.
Execution of the irrigation strategy, which is due soon to be launched, will include a number of phases, Valá said, giving the example of restoration of 7,000 hectares of irrigated land in Chokwé, Gaza province, as well as the Govuro irrigation area, in Inhambane, which will be restored in 2012.
Mozambique currently ahs 28,000 hectares of food crops that can be irrigated, and it is hoped that in ten years’ time this will rise to 60,000 hectares. (macauhub)