Mozambique: Almost 220.000 People At Risk of Food Insecurity in Sofala

Maputo — Mozambique's relief agency, the National Institute for Disaster Risk Management and Reduction (INGD), has announced that almost 220.000 people may be at risk of food insecurity in the central province of Sofala as a result of a lack of rain which is believed to be related to the "El Niño' phenomenon.

According to the INGD delegate in Sofala, Aristides Armando, interviewed on Monday by Radio Mozambique, almost 220,000 people may be at risk of food insecurity, since the forecasts point to a shortage of rain in that part of the country until at least this month.

"The 'El Niño' phenomenon is a reality in Sofala province and this brings a shortage of rain that impacts the agricultural sector. According to the projections by INAM (the National Meteorology Institute), the phenomenon is likely to continue, which means that this April we will still have a scenario of rain shortages in some districts', he said.

The lack of rain, he said, has led to the loss of thousands of hectares of various crops.

"It is the agricultural sector that has suffered most from the effects of the phenomenon', said Armando. "In the first growing season, a large part of the crop, mainly maize, was compromised. We have a total of 146,153 hectares affected and that makes up 22 percent of what was planned. These are preliminary figures because this information can still be updated'.

According to Armando, the loss of 6,000 hectares in the most affected districts, namely Chemba, Caia, Marínguè and part of the districts of Machanga and Muanza, is now certain.

Faced with this situation, he said that the government is already implementing some measures to deal with the scenario.

"The first approach is to look ahead to the second growing season. With this in mind, we are preparing a multi-sector response action plan, which includes the agricultural component with the mobilization of producers to take advantage of irrigation and low-lying areas that conserve moisture on river banks, as well as the use of varieties of short-cycle drought-tolerant crop species, and staggered sowings', he said.

AllAfrica publishes around 400 reports a day from more than 100 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.