Mozambique, IFAD join to combat climate change and increase food security
11-02-2020 08:39:00 | by: Pie Kamau | hits: 3453 | Tags:

The International Fund for Agricultural Development of the United Nations (IFAD) announced support for a new programme to increase incomes, improve food and nutrition security and build the resilience of at least 902,500 rural Mozambican farmers, in one of the African countries most affected by climate change.

In Mozambique, 70 per cent of the population live in rural areas and are highly vulnerable to the impacts of the climate change. The country is the third most affected in Africa, with climate change impacting 58 per cent of the population. The effects on the agriculture sector were evident in 2019 when the country was hit by the tropical cyclones Idai and Kenneth, which destroyed hundreds of thousands of hectares of cropland in central and northern Mozambique.

At the same time, the country’s demand for agricultural products is expanding. But Mozambique continues to depend on food imports to satisfy its domestic needs, with food accounting for 29 per cent of the country’s import bill.

The financing agreement for the Inclusive Agrifood Value Chain Development Programme (PROCAVA) was signed today by Donal Brown, Associate Vice-President of IFAD, Programme Management Department, and Victor Gomes, Vice-Governor of the Bank of Mozambique.

This US$72.5 million programme aims to improve resilience and livelihoods of rural producers. At least half of the beneficiaries of the programme will be women and 30 per cent will be young people. It will contribute to livelihood development, food security and resilience, critical areas for Mozambique in achieving several Sustainable Development Goals, including no poverty, zero hunger and gender equality (SDGs 1, 2 and 5).

Funding includes an $8.4 million loan and $33.6 million grant from IFAD. In addition, the Government of Mozambique is providing $4.9 million, with a further $5.6 million contributed by beneficiaries themselves and significant cofinancing from other development partners.

“The IFAD-supported Pro-Poor Value Chain Development in the Maputo and Limpopo Corridors (PROSUL) was implemented in some districts in the southern region and provided valuable lessons in developing value chains and promoting adaptive and resilient agricultural and livestock practices,” said Robson Mutandi, Country Director for Mozambique. “PROCAVA will build on this success and promote appropriate climate-smart and environmentally sustainable technologies and practices in project areas.”

The programme will first focus on selected horticulture commodities, red meat (cattle and goats), poultry, cassava and legumes, all of which are sensitive to climate change. In order to facilitate this, the programme will also invest in irrigation infrastructure and technologies.  It will increase market access of small-scale farmers by linking them to different actors in the target value chains.  

PROCAVA will also build the capacity of small-scale farmers in production and processing to become more competitive. Appropriate rural infrastructure will be put in place to support market-oriented production, and to enable efficient delivery of surplus production from small farms to different markets, thereby improving farm families’ livelihoods.

Other activities will include building small-scale vegetable packaging houses near irrigation operations, and setting up pens for fattening cattle and goats. PROCAVA will be implemented in 75 districts in 10 provinces of the country.

Since 1983, IFAD has invested more than $386.47 million in 15 rural development programmes and projects in Mozambique worth a total of almost $585 million. These interventions have directly benefited 2,391,789 rural families.