FAO in Mozambique

Visit to PROMOVE Agribiz activities in Meconta shows strong cooperation of the programme with government and rural communities


March 30 2022, Meconta Sede (Nampula) – Amussi was the Farmer Field School (FFS) chosen for the first stop of PROMOVE Agribiz Technical Committee's field visit, in which the implementing and financing partners presented various programme activities in the field.

PROMOVE Agribiz is co-financed by the European Union (EU), the German Federal Ministry for Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). The programme is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, FAO, the Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) of the World Bank, and the National Fund for Sustainable Development (FNDS), in partnership with the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER) and Industry and Trade (MIC), the provincial and district governments of Nampula and Zambézia, the private sector, and civil society.

The visit to Amussi FFS was part of a two-day event where the partners presented the intermediate results of the programme. In addition to the Technical Committee - composed of national and provincial directors, as well as the Office of the National Authorizing Officer (GON) and the Mozambique Almond Institute (IAM) - government representatives from the national, provincial, and district levels, as well as the private sector and civil society from the areas of agriculture, finance, and agri-processing attended the event.

On the first day of the event, held in Nampula City, the Provincial Governor, Manuel Rodrigues Alberto, described PROMOVE Agribiz – which aims to contribute to the improvement of food security and resilience of smallholders as well as to an increase in rural competitiveness in the provinces of Nampula and Zambézia – as a "programme of great importance for the development of the agricultural sector in the region".
Consolidating the Governor's statement, FAO Coordinator of the programme, Dario Cipolla, mentioned at the same event that, "in order to achieve sustainable development in Mozambique, it is necessary that the great majority of the Mozambican population – which is involved in agriculture – earns long-lasting incomes that allow them to raise above the poverty line". The objective of the programme as a contribution to the development of rural communities in the provinces of Nampula and Zambézia, Cipolla continued, is precisely "the transition from subsistence to market-oriented agriculture".

In this sense, as FNDS Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator of PROMOVE Agribiz, Isabel Mazive, indicated, the results achieved in the first two years of the programme's implementation include "more than 12,000 smallholders directly benefiting from agricultural extension services and more than 18,000 producers and micro, small and medium enterprises [MSMEs] with access to formal financial services". Additionally, Isabel Mazive mentioned that "approximately 1,200 smallholders and MSMEs have already been integrated into supply chains of larger local enterprises. It is expected that by next year 11,000 smallholders/MSMEs will be integrated through different partnerships".

For the Technical Committee's visit, held on the second day of the event, Amussi FFS, located in Kurupula Village, Meconta District, which has had peanut cultivation as their main study subject, was strategically divided into 6 stations, through which visitors were guided and given information on the conservation agriculture techniques and practices that the FFS members have learned since the establishment of the FFS in 2020 under PROMOVE Agribiz: 1) traditional plot vs. technological plot, 2) Agroecological System Analysis (AESA), 3) fertilization, 4) seed varieties, 5) biol, the organic pesticide and insect repellent, and finally, in preparation for the secondary season, 6) a vegetable nursery.

Inputs such as seeds and fertilizers reach PROMPOVE's beneficiary farmers through the e-voucher, an electronic card with which FAO subsidizes part of the inputs available in the different packages, and the holder of the card contributes with the remaining amount. They can then purchase the inputs directly in the stores of the agro dealers participating in the programme.

FFS member Adelino Nipuhe welcomed the visitors to the first station, where conservation farming practices were applied in the technological plot and compared to local methods in the neighbouring plot: the traditional one. Nipuhe is convinced that "the methods used in the technological plot are very useful, because the crop yields are higher. Here we applied urea as fertilizer." The 57-year old farmer also says that, as soon as the time comes for e-voucher registration, he will join to buy inputs and apply them on his own field. "I'm going to register for sure. And it's not just me, it's all the members of Amussi, who are waiting for the e-voucher to arrive."
Also Afito Martinho, a multiplier of seeds of different improved varieties of maize, sorghum, cowpea and peanut, supported by FAO under PROMOVE Agribiz, received the visitors on his demonstration field in the Village of Vieira, Namialo. There, Martinho exhibits crops of local varieties and others of improved ones so that the producers, his customers, can assess which variety best suits the conditions of their communities and best covers their needs.

From Martinho's demonstration field, the group went on to Moreno Agricultural Cooperative, in Netia Village, Monapo, and, once back to Nampula City, they finished the visit at Miruku Agroindústria.

Reflecting on the visit at the end of the day, Daniel Gonzalez-Levassor, from the European Union Delegation in Mozambique, said that "what we saw today was a very strong partnership with public services, both at provincial and district levels, as well as with the private sector and the communities that are applying the technologies disseminated by the partners" and continued: "we see that we are already having a very good impact on an agriculture that is much more resilient to climate change and has higher productivity which will allow smallholders to access the markets".