FAO in Mozambique

FAO Mozambique helps farmers resume food production in Zambézia and Sofala provinces

"This bag I have in my hands will be of great help for my family", J. Moreira said

Judite Moreira was one of the first to get the white bag that everyone was waiting to receive this morning at Mocua Resettlement Centre in the District of Namacurra, Zambézia Province.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in partnership with the Government of Mozambique and the Mozambican non-governmental organization KULIMA, is assisting roughly 11 000 flood-affected families from Zambézia and Sofala, two of the hardest hit provinces by the January floods. The distribution of the kits with agricultural inputs – seeds and work tools – has already concluded in the Province of Sofala (Caia and Chemba districts) and began on Tuesday (28/04) in the Province of Zambézia. As well as Namacurra, the districts of Maganja da Costa, Mocuba, Mopeia and Morrumbala will also receive support.

"Measured against the needs, which are obvious, this is a modest contribution", Castro Camarada, FAO Country Representative, said at the kits delivery in Mocua, "but it is significant for the revival of the production activities by the affected families".

The objective of FAO's assistance is to help the most vulnerable households resume their agricultural production. One such household is that of Judite Moreira, a farmer and mother of three who has lost "absolutely everything" because of the floods. When she was alerted that she should look for shelter on high ground on 12 January, "it was too late, the water had entered the house".

According to Betino José, Director of the District Services for Economic Activities in Namacurra, the January floods were "the worst in the history of the district, both in terms of losses to crops and of losses to both human and animal lives".

More than 100 000ha of crops have been damaged by the rains as well as by the subsequent floods and pests, affecting over 110 000 families in the Central and Northern regions of the country. The food and seed stocks have been washed away, leaving those who subsist on agricultural production to rely on food aid.

According to Alberto Chidiamassamba, coordinator of the two recovery projects of the Organization in both provinces, "FAO's assistance will help these smallholder farmers and their families get back to more food security".

Chidiamassamba joined Camarada, FAO's Representative, during his trip, which also included inspections of flooded areas, damaged irrigation systems and aquaculture ponds as well as meetings with the provincial and district governments and the Food Security Cluster partners from civil society, other UN agencies and the Technical Secretariat for Food Security.