Maputo — The Mozambican government on Tuesday in Maputo gave a public presentation on the Programme of Triangular Cooperation for Developing Agriculture in the Tropical Savannahs of Mozambique (ProSavana).
The coordinator of ProSavana, Calisto Bias, told journalists that the project would contribute greatly to food security and diversification in the Nacala Corridor, covering the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Zambezia, Nampula and Niassa.
ProSavana is part of the government's 2011-2020 Strategic Plan for the Development of the Agricultural Sector (PEDSA). Its main objectives are to increase productivity, ensure access to markets, use natural resources in a sustainable manner and strengthen the business skills of farmers.
The project has three components: ProSavana - PI (research project) that began in April 2011 and lasts until March 2016; ProSavana - PD (master plan) running from March 2012 until 2014; and ProSavana - PEM (extension and design) taking place between May 2012 and May 2019.
ProSavana - PI will strengthen the capacity of the experimental stations of Mozambique's Agricultural Research Institute (IIAM) in Lichinga and Nampula; assess the impact of introducing new agricultural technologies on natural resources and the environment; develop technologies to improve soils; and develop technologies for crop and livestock production.
ProSavana - PD will develop a master plan to contribute to social and economic development by engaging private investment to promote sustainable production systems and poverty reduction.
Targeting small and medium scale farmers, it aims to increase productivity, production and diversification; and develop marketing, processing and the supply of inputs to increase agricultural products for the financial benefit of farmers.
ProSavana - PD covers 19 districts: Monapo, Muecate, Meconta, Nampula, Mogovolas, Murrupula, Mecubure, Ribaue, Lalaua and Malema in Nampula Province; Cuamba, Mecanhelas, Madimba, Ngauma, Lichinga, Majune and Sanga in Niassa Province; and Gurue and Alto Molocue in Zambezia Province.
ProSavana - PEM will increase production of various crops by adopting new agricultural development models in the target areas.
According to Calisto Bias, the geography of the Nacala Corridor provides an exceptional potential for agricultural production. He stressed that this must be done in a sustainable manner to guarantee self-sufficiency in food production and income generation.
Currently, land use in the region is characterised by low productivity small scale subsistence farming; increasing population density putting pressure on traditional framing practices; and the collection of wood for charcoal production.
ProSavana is financed by the governments of Mozambique and Japan. It will use technology developed in Brazil.