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New opportunities for the private sector in Mozambique

Paulo Moisés Manhique, farmer Inhambane Province, Mozambique, photo: Chanito Gordinho

If poor farmers, men and women, have a more secure income, they are in a better position to withstand sudden shocks like drought or flooding or the effects of climate change.

Farmers like Paulo Moises Manhique in Mozambique’s Inhambane Province have seen their yields increase and profits grow through a partnership with a local agri-business Mozambique Organicos, which is supported by Irish Aid.

Inhambane Province lies along the southern coast of Mozambique. Over one million of its 1.4 million population depend on small scale, rain-fed agriculture for their livelihood; a precarious existence in an area with poor soil and unpredictable rainfall.

Making that existence more secure is at the heart of Irish Aid’s work. If poor farmers, men and women, have a more secure income, they are in a better position to withstand sudden shocks like drought or flooding or the effects of climate change. 

Building partnerships

One of the ways we try to achieve this is through partnerships with organisations like Mozambique Organicos, a local agri-business and export company that, with support from Irish Aid, offers advice and training to farmers.   They advise farmers on everything from growing more suitable crops to reaching bigger markets

Paulo Moises Manhique is one of 14 farmers from Inhacongo, a village in Inhambwe Province who received training from Mozambique Organicos on better agricultural practices, crop planning and using organic fertilizer and new technologies. He also received assistance to access international markets, opening up the possibility of greater profits.

The benefits of the assistance and greater access to markets reach beyond the farmers to their communities through the jobs they create.

Seeing results

And the results are clear to see. The Inhacongo farmers have not only seen the quality and quantity of their crop yields increase but they are now able to change the type of crops to better suit the season and market demand. Paulo now grows ‘Baby Corn’ on about two hectares of land for export to South Africa as well as a variety of other vegetables for local and  international markets.

 Creating jobs

The benefits of the assistance and greater access to markets reach beyond the farmers to their communities through the jobs they create. Paulo has 15 people permanently employed and hopes to double this as he produces more for export. As Mozambique Organicos has begun to export more (quadrupling its exports in 2011) its workforce has also grown. Since 2009 the number of permanent workers has grown from four to 118, of whom 25% are women.

Fighting poverty

Our support for farmers and their communities is part of our overall focus on vulnerability and poverty in Mozambique.   In 2011, for example over 430,000 farmers, men and women, received advice and training aimed at improving their livelihoods from organisations like Mozambique Organicos.

By working on the ground in Inhambane Province, we build up a good understanding of the many challenges facing local communities.  We also try to make sure that this knowledge and evidence of what works on the ground influences national policies that positively impact on Mozambique’s poorest citizens. 

Something we can be proud of

430,000 The number of farmers who benefitted from government agricultural advisory services in Mozambique with support from Irish Aid.

50% Almost half of these farmers were women.