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FAO in Mozambique

To support small producers to fight Fall Armyworm, FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture launched new project

FAOR & the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MASA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have signed an agreement to initiate a new project to support small farmers at the national level.

The funding will be provided by USAID and is valued at US $ 5.6 million over a four-year period (2018 -2022), which will benefit 300,000 farmers, NGOs, agribusiness companies - processing and academic institutions.

About half of the grant will be spent on the Fall Armyworm (FAW) Mitigation Plan, created by MASA and FAO and managed by the National Directorate of Agriculture and Forestry (DINAS).

The remaining funds will be used in part for research and vaccination programmes on livestock diseases, such as cattle foot-and-mouth disease and poultry disease, Newscastle, at the Institute of Agricultural Research of Mozambique (IIAM).

During the event, FAO Representative, Olman Serrano, emphasized that "a pest surveillance system will be established at the national level to fight FAW, and that mass awareness materials will also be produced and disseminated. In addition, training will be conducted on the management of the FAW for extensionists and other technicians, as well as for producers, through the methodology of the Farmer Field School, "he added.

In turn, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Higino Marule, said that signing this project represents a cycle of hope for small producers who will be the biggest beneficiaries. "Collaboration of the various actors, including the academia, the private sector, NGOs working on the ground is crucial to get the message out of the need for timely action to stop not only FAW but all other plagues that upset the development the agricultural and livestock sectors to ensure the preservation of animal and plant health in the country.

This project is expected to strengthen the capacity of MASA and other stakeholders to monitor and control animal pests and diseases; as well as in sustainable practices of integrated management for the control of transboundary pests and diseases, particularly the FAW; promotion of safe food practices and technologies to reduce risks to human and animal life; and the search for new and more resistant varieties and complementary crops for maize growing systems.

The Interim Representative of USAID, Sheryl Stumbras, believes that the agricultural sector in Mozambique needs to be protected against disease agents such as the FAW to reach its potential and continue to grow.

"We are confident that the partnership between MASA and FAO and, under the leadership of the Minister and in collaboration with the public and private sectors, Mozambique will overcome this last challenge to the agricultural sector and continue on a positive path towards food security, improvement of income and elimination of poverty", she concluded.