Located in south-eastern Africa, Mozambique is a low-income country with a large food deficit and a population of 30,366.036 million in 2019 (World Bank, 2020), most of whom live and work in rural areas. About 71% of the total labor force is employed in the agricultural sector.

The agriculture practiced is mainly subsistence-based and is strongly influenced by frequent climate changes such as droughts, heavy rains, floods, and cyclones. In particular, the impact of recurrent droughts or low rainfall leads to significant crop losses. In addition, access to drinking water sources is poor due to the uneven distribution of wells. Often the inhabitants (especially women and girls) are forced to travel 5 to 20 km to reach the nearest source of supply. This leads to an inability to irrigate crops and thus a decrease in the quality and quantity of food consumed by households, thus increasing the level of food and nutrition insecurity. According to the WFP, acute malnutrition is estimated at 4.4% and chronic malnutrition at 42.3% (2020).

Zambezia, in particular, is one of the poorest and most affected by climate change regions in Mozambique. Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in 2019 caused severe agricultural losses, destruction of infrastructure as well as assets and livelihoods, thus worsening the level of food insecurity in the area. This damage, coupled with poor access to drinking water, has not allowed for widespread production and diversification of agricultural varieties. In fact, although Zambezia has some 8,000,000 hectares under cultivation, only 18% is currently being used.

In collaboration with local partners, the project aims to untie the production of communities in the Namacurra, Nicoadala and Quelimane districts from rainfall and work with irrigation and rainwater harvesting systems. In this way, ICEI will help to improve the quality and quantity of agricultural production of rural families in the area, thereby combating food and nutrition insecurity in the zone.

Improving the food and nutritional security of 210 producers and their families in the Namacurra, Nicoadala and Quelimane districts through the dissemination and replicability of the production model based on agroforestry and syntrophic agriculture and the introduction of irrigation systems also aimed at horticultural production. In this way, the project aims to contribute to improving the agricultural production of rural households, particularly those belonging to vulnerable categories such as single parents with women as heads of household.

Project activities

The project is developed on three levels:

1..Agroforestry experimentation/action activities with the University of Licungo

Field experimentation activities for the creation of an Agroforestry Experimentation Centre with the University of Licungo. The activity includes:

  • A training course aimed at an exchange of experiences and mutual learning,
  • An experimental study of the DRF – Demonstrative Results Field model, based on the same model implemented in the communities;
  • The installation of a nursery and a seed bank.

2. Training and permanent training in agroecology/forestry systems, permanent vegetable production, seed production and conservation.

The activity involves training in agricultural techniques (field preparation, sowing, pruning, harvesting, reseeding) using the Farmer Field School methodology, i.e. a teaching-learning process that takes place on farmers’ fields during the crop cycle.

3. Facilitation of water supply for agricultural activities: provision of irrigation systems

The activity involves the installation of seven small irrigation systems to facilitate the production of vegetables in the districts of Nicoadala, Namacurra, and Quelimane, thus benefiting 210 producers belonging to the target areas.