FAO in Mozambique

Building the Resilience of Communities in Cabo Delgado

©ONU/Helvisney Cardoso

20 July 2022, PEMBA– Muanajuma Dade, 35, harvests peanuts in her field while being watched by her 5-year-old son Sumani in Montepuez District. Muanajuma and her son ran away from Mocimboa da Praia in September 2021.
"I used to live in the village of Mocimboa da Praia. When the village was attacked, I ran with my son on my back through the woods, I did not know where I was, until I found a nearby village."
"From there I was able to walk along the road to Mueda where my uncle helped me to get transport to Montepuez, where I live now", she continued.

Luiz, Muanajuma's husband, also tried to escape the village, but he was caught by the non-state armed group committing the attack and his whereabouts is unknow. After walking for six consecutive days and a bus ride, the family arrived at the south of Cabo Delgado Province, where their extended family members and friends had resettled already due to the conflict up north.

"I used to make cakes and sell them at the market and in the rainy season I also produced rice to sell it in the village", remembers Muanajuma. "My husband and I used to plant also maize, peanuts and cassava; I believe in my heart he is still alive and safe".
In the new resettlement area organized by the Government of Mozambique, each family has received a 0,5-hectare-field to cultivate, tools, seeds and technical assistance provided with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Muanajuma were able to plant beans, maize and peanuts and build a resilient livelihood to herself and her child. “I'm harvesting peanuts and cleaning the field so I can plant more. I just hope the rains are stronger for my maize to grow”, she says while being observed by Sumani’s curious eyes.

At least 1.5 million people in northern Mozambique need life-saving and life-sustaining humanitarian assistance and protection due to the continued impact of conflict, violence and insecurity in Cabo Delgado Province. More than half of them are children like Sumani and more than 60 percent of adults are women like Muanajuma, who fled horrific brutality in search of safety.

With FAO support, the Government of Mozambique is increasing the resilience of internally displaced and host communities’ livelihoods against the complex crisis in northern Mozambique and giving them hope.

FAO’s resilience work

Building the resilience of vulnerable rural populations in fragile contexts such as conflicts, through agrifood systems transformation, is a key priority for FAO.

“FAO’s resilience work is multisectoral, encompassing all aspects of agriculture: crops, livestock, fisheries, aquaculture, forestry, natural resource management and value chains”, commented Patrice Talla, FAO Sub-regional Director for Southern Africa, while visiting Cabo Delgado.

Patrice Talla led a week-long FAO mission to Mozambique to better understand how to assist Mozambique increase the resilience of households, communities, and institutions to more effectively prevent and cope with threats and disasters that impact agriculture, food security and nutrition.

“The discussions and what we've seen on the ground really prove that communities are slowly moving from emergency support to resilience and development activities”, affirmed FAO Sub-regional Director.

“We were able to distribute some inputs to the communities for them to be ready to continue producing for their own consumption, but also for commercialization”, he continued.


In the last month, FAO was able to deliver agriculture inputs for more than 25,000 internally displaced persons in Cabo Delgado Province alone. The timely provision of seeds, to­ols and technical assistance and planting of crops produces enough nutritious food to guarantee self-sufficiency for three to six months for an average household of five.

Poultry breeding is an alternative solution to addressing food inse­curity and malnutrition. FAO sources poultry and seed locally, promoting the development of the local economy, including poultry producers and agro-dealers.