Mozambique: Correia Warns Farmers About Misuse of Tractors

Maputo — Mozambican Minister of Agriculture Celso Correia has warned that any beneficiary who attempts to divert tractor of the government's flagship agricultural development programme, Sustenta, for the wrong purpose will face the heavy hand of the law, reports the independent television station STV.

Correia's reaction comes in response to a recent case where one tractor granted exclusively to plough and harrow the land in food production activities had been found within the boundaries of Gile National Park, where it was used to drag timber logged unlawfully by illegal loggers.

"We have about 1,000 Emerging Commercial Smallholders (PACES) and it is pretty normal that one or another may not be successful. But those who take the tractor for the wrong purpose will have to face the law," he said, adding that the sector has been following developments attentively in order to put an end to abuses.

The minister pointed out that there are smallholder farmers who behave in the right way but others are abusing the equipment they receive under Sustenta.

He added that the government has been watching the smuggling of timber and said the ministry that oversees the area will announce the measures to be taken to curb the illegal practice.

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