Mozambique: Pro-Savana a Priority Programme - PM

Maputo — Mozambican Prime Minister Aires Ali has described the agricultural project ProSavana as a priority which should merit due attention from all the parties involved, in order to overcome possible difficulties and ensure success.

ProSavana is the abbreviation for the Programme of Triangular Cooperation for Developing Agriculture in the Tropical Savannahs of Mozambique. It will be developed in the north of the country, mostly along the line of rail of the Nacala Development Corridor, and is intended to increase agricultural productivity, with a strong component of transfer of technology.

Mozambique's partners in the programme are Brazil and Japan, and Ali was speaking on Friday to a group of Japanese and Brazilian business people who had just visited ProSavana areas in Nampula and Cabo Delgado provinces.

The group assessed as positive the agricultural potential of the areas they had visited. The advantages they found included the commitment expressed by the government, the motivation of local agricultural producers, the existence of basic infrastructure and of a system favourable to investment, and access to domestic and foreign markets.

Nonetheless, the head of the Brazilian delegation, Luis Nishimori, pointed to some constraints that must be overcome if the programme is to produce rapid results - namely the need to establish a value chain, the development of agricultural technology, the strengthening of agricultural extension, and community consultation over access to land.

"Other difficulties concern poor access to inputs and credit, public security and feeble environmental awareness locally", said Nishimori.

Ali said that the difficulties found by the mission should be regarded as challenges, and solutions must be found to them in order for ProSavana to advance rapidly.

He considered the visit by the Brazilian-Japanese mission as an important stage in the programme's take-off.

Ali hoped that with the involvement of Mozambicans, Brazilians and Japanese it will be possible to increase employment, achieve food security and reduce poverty along the Nacala Corridor and in adjacent areas.

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