Maputo — Vanduzi (Mozambique), 7 Jul (AIM) - Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario on Friday urged producers, and the population in general, to become actively involved in this year' agricultural marketing campaign.
Speaking in Vanduzi district, in the central province of Manica, at the official launch of the campaign, Rosario stressed that farmers must not sell all the crops they produce, but must hold back enough to guarantee the food security of themselves and their families.
"You cannot sell everything, and then go hungry yourselves", he warned. "When you make transactions you must keep an eye on your own food reserves".
The forecast for 2019, is that Mozambican farmers will market 3.3 million tonnes of various crops. This would be an increase of about 3.1 per cent on the 2018 figure of 3.2 million tonnes.
Rosario also announced the introduction of a rotating marketing fund. The fund will start with 300 million meticais (about 4.8 million US dollars). This is an instrument that will allow the government to provide low interest loans, in a rotating manner, to operators in the marketing chain.
Initially, the fund will cover at least 400 operators, who can borrow money from the fund at an interest rate of 1.5 per cent.
The Prime Minister said this measure is intended to combat poverty, and to act as a catalyst for agricultural production and productivity. It should also strengthen the ability of traders to purchase all available excess crops, rather than leaving them in the hands of farmers because they do not have the cash immediately available to purchase them.
The General Director of the Mozambique Grain Institute (ICM), Mohamad Vala, told reporters that, of the sum approved, over 80 million meticais is available, and of this sum, 31 million meticais has already been lent to beneficiaries.
The government has set up this marketing fund in partnership with the National Investment Bank (BNI) and other development agencies, including the Zambezi Valley Agency and the investment company GAPI.