Maputo — Drought in the district of Chiuta, in the western province of Tete, has led to a food shortage affecting 6,387 families.
The district administrator, Celestino Checanhanza, said that the food insecurity is caused by cereal production being less than the amount consumed by the local population. The people need 13,523 tonnes of food but only have 8,312 tonnes available.
Checanhanza said that in the 2010/2011 agricultural season 8,997 hectares of various types of crops were lost due to drought - representing about a quarter of the total crop area.
The district authority has implemented a series of measures including supplying improved seed for maize and other crops, which are designed to be drought resistant and capable of two harvests per season.
The authority has also been encouraging farmers to cultivate areas along the river and streams to grow a second harvest. It has also financed twenty projects for marketing maize through the District Development Fund (FDD).
As a result of these actions, according to Checanhanza, by the end of the first quarter of this year, the food shortages have declined slightly due to the increased supply of food from the traders funded by FDD.
He said that for the present agricultural campaign 52 producer associations and 2003 family sector farmers received help from agricultural extensionists.
The district authority is also working with partners to improve access roads to enable surplus crops to reach the market.