Agriculture: Big projects, peasant support - By Joseph Hanlon
Finagro (File photo)
The FinAgro agribusiness promotion programme financed by the United States and Mozambican governments celebrated the results of four years of operation on 28 February 2017.
The programme supports small and medium-sized enterprises, associations, cooperatives and individual entrepreneurs operating in agriculture, food processing, marketing and export activities by increasing their productivity and access to finance.
Launched in late May 2013 by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Mozambican government and implemented by TechnoServe, a non-governmental organization operating in Mozambique since 1998, with the support of the Zambezi Valley Development Association (ADVZ), the FinAgro programme had by March 2017 made available approximately 160 million Meticais for investment.
On 28 February, FinAgro held a closing meeting to share the results and lessons learned from the project with partners in the agricultural sector. The event included participants from the public and private sector, financial institutions, donors, NGOs and others. ADVZ and USAID opened the conference, followed by a presentation of the FinAgro programme. Four panel discussions including beneficiaries, financial institutions, local governments, equipment suppliers and technical assistance providers then followed.
The programme has since its inception financed 78 companies, of which thirty-five received bank financing, well above the defined goal of 10 percent. A total of 43.8 million Meticais raised privately were invested in agriculture under the FinAgro programme, in addition to the 160 million Meticais from the financing programme itself. The programme financed 45 tractors, 99 agricultural machines, 23 processing machines, 12 irrigation systems, four energy projects, three warehouses and 360,000 banana tree seedlings.
This investment increased the assets of the companies, reducing the risk of investment in the agricultural sector by banks. The investment was expected to create 518 new jobs and increase the turnover of these companies by a total of 174 million Meticais a year. Another notable result is that the project has encouraged many businesses to register legally and obtain land use certificates as well as drawing up proper business plans and organizing their finances.
The programme has been targeted at activities in the value chains of legumes, tropical fruits, oilseeds, cashew nuts and other food crops. It covered the Beira Corridor, the Zambezi Valley Development area and the Nacala Corridor.
For more details on the FinAgro programme and the projects financed, see the www.finagro.org.mz web page.
To read the Finagro report (PDF format), please click on this linkSource: Finagro
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