Maputo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi warned that no normal country can live on donations, when it has enough land, water and human resources to feed all its people.
Speaking on Friday, at the Lower Limpopo irrigation scheme, in Chonguene district, in the southern province of Gaza, Nyusi stressed the need for Mozambique to become a productive territory and not just a country of consumers.
He was addressing a ceremony at which production kits were delivered to Gaza farmers under the government's flagship agricultural development policy, "Sustenta".
"We have to transform Mozambique into a productive and sustainable country", said Nyusi. "We cannot continue to live off donations". He warned that donors might eventually tire of giving aid to Mozambique.
"A normal country, which has land, water and people who work, cannot continue like this", he stressed. "This means we must demand more of ourselves. If we just do business on the street corners, it's not going to work. Let's transform Mozambique into a productive country, and not just a consumer country - above all a country that consumes donations. But to do thus, we have to stop talking and start acting".
Nyusi, cited in Monday's issue of the independent newssheet "Carta de Mocambique", stressed that his government is committed to ensuring the welfare of all Mozambicans, and that involves providing food, clean water, electricity, decent housing and access roads.
He declared that the Sustenta programme "is a working instrument of the government's Five Year Programme for 2020-2024", which would allow inclusive and sustainable growth, involving both private business and peasant farmers.
"Sustenta empowers the farmers", Nyusi claimed. "They will produce with knowledge, resources and professionalism. Sustenta will increase household income, production and productivity. It is giving opportunities to women and to young people. It will bring competitiveness".
Also on Friday, the Ministry of Agriculture provided financing of 1.6 billion meticais (about 22 million US dollars) to Gaza farmers. The financing took the form of means of production (20 tractors), seeds, fertilisers and pesticides for about 8,000 households.
Cheques ranging in size from four to six million meticais were given to 32 semi-commercial producers, while three rice processing companies received between 100 and 400 million meticais.
This finance consists of loans which must be repaid.