Programme to increase agricultural production and yields in Mozambique to receive funding

23 April 2012

A programme intended to improve levels of agricultural production and yields in the Mozambican provinces of Manica, Sofala, and Tete is set to benefit from a funding package of US$100 million by the end of the year, Mozambican newspaper Notícias reported.

Known as the Beira Agricultural Growth Corridor Initiative the project’s main goal is to allow most small-scale grain producers with an average yield of just one tons per hectare to produce around four or five tones per hectare.

So far, the newspaper said, 14 projects have been identified covering around 2,000 people, mainly small-scale farmers that grow rice, beans, soy, maize, cassava, and other crops.

Emerson Zhou, the director of the Beira Agricultural Growth Corridor Initiative, a programme that was launched a year and a half ago, told Notícias that the US$100 million in funding for this year would be used to build facilities and to provide funding to small-scale farmers in the areas covered by the programme.

He also said that, as well as private companies, the initiative was also supported by the State, via the Agriculture Ministry, whose main role is to support the identification of the areas, drive communities into taking part and create conditions for products to be distributed by building the facilities needed to do that.

The private sector, in its turn, is expected to be directly involved in securing funding, building some irrigation facilities and providing technical assistance to farmers.

The initiative is supported by the Netherlands, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (FIDA) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). (macauhub)