Mozambique, a Portuguese colony for over 400 years, was among the last African countries to become independent in 1975. Following emancipation the country was ravaged by a long and bloody civil war, that caused one million casualties and almost entirely destroyed the infrastructures and the national economy. At present, the country is still suffering from the effects of the debt crisis of 2016. Notwithstanding the economic growth in recent years, Mozambique is still very low ranked in the Human Development Index, sitting at the 182th place among 188 countries (UNDP, 2016). Nearly three quarters of the economically active population are employed in small-scale farming activities.
The Province of Zambezia has about 8,000,000 arable land hectares of which only 18% is currently in use, and shows a huge potential for diversified agricultural production. In addition, farming activities are mainly providing uncertain subsistence to people and are not very diversified due to use of inadequate inputs and poor technical skills. Post-harvest processes are also underdeveloped and ineffective and the farmers’ resilience to shocks and ability to manage the risk of disasters are still reduced. The project will be implemented in two districts lying in the Southern part of the Province, Morrumbala and Nicoadala.
The project is characterized by innovative elements related to the following actions:
- Promoting innovative farming techniques such as Syntropic Agriculture – Successional Agro- forestry Systems (SAFs) by providing materials and tools, training, creation of agroforestry nurseries and technical assistance to implementation.
- Valorization of local products, combining the launch of effective preservation and processing systems with the introduction of enhanced promotion and marketing strategies.