Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi Calls for Joint Efforts On Food Security

Food Security

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Friday called for combined efforts of all activities involved in agriculture in order to improve food security and reduce the high levels of chronic malnutrition.

He was speaking at a debate organized in the presidential offices with agricultural experts, including former agriculture ministers, which centred on how to eliminate hunger in Mozambique.

The latest statistics from the government’s Food and Nutritional Security Technical Secretariat (SETSAN) indicate that 43 per cent of all children under the age of five are suffering from chronic malnutrition. The government also recently announced that over 137,000 people are suffering from food insecurity because of the drought affecting parts of the country. It is feared that the number of people at risk could rise to 792,000, if the drought worsens.

To deal with such problems, Nyusi insisted that access to capital and to land, and improvements in the distribution network must all be tackled together to ensure full agricultural production.

Other key factors included better organisation, management, leadership and communication, as well as the use of improved technologies and agricultural extension services. Taken together these could ensure an effective chain of production.

“These are matters that have to be interconnected and synchronsed in order for us to develop a sustainable agriculture”, said the President.

Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco recognized that Mozambican farmers make little use of improved seeds, research services, technical assistance and basic services to support production. Agriculture also suffered from poor communication and poor distribution networks, as well as electricity, logistics and storage problems.

Pacheco also pointed to inadequate access to agricultural markets and blamed this on “the lack of financial services, particularly in rural areas, and the poor network of roods linking the productive areas to the centres of consumption”.

Prominent academic Firmino Mucavele criticised the lack of cooperation among African countries in agriculture. He also blamed the low productivity of Mozambican agriculture on interruption in agricultural policies (which tend to last for only five years) and the lack of a strategy capable of stimulating the peasant family sector.

“There can be no strategies without policies”, said Mucavele, “and you can’t change agricultural policies every five years. We have to develop a state, rather than a government, agricultural policy which lasts for 10, 20 or 30 years”.

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Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique

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