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O País / Foreign Minister of Mozambique and India, José Pacheco and Vijay Kumar Singh (right).
Two months after taking the Foreign Affairs and Cooperation portfolio, José Pacheco made his first public appearance yesterday afternoon, receiving his Indian counterpart Vijay Kumar Singh, who arrived in Maputo on Sunday for a three-day visit.
After a brief meeting, Pacheco and Singh addressed the press, where they were asked about problems implementing the boer bean [pigeon peas or pulses] export agreement[between Mozambique and India].
José Pacheco was the first to explain that “there is no cut” in the goals agreed in the agreement and that India still intends importing 500,000 tons of pigeon peas produced in Mozambique.
If there is no cut, why is it that some Mozambican farmers who invested on’pulse’ crops are not able to sell their produce at attractive prices?
“We do not have the capacity to export 500,000 tons at one time, so we will split the quantities to be exported each year. Last year’s target was 200,000 tons and was fulfilled in full. What happened was that we underestimated our productive capacity, that is, we produced more than the target set for last year,” Pacheco said.
In 2017, Mozambique produced more than 300,000 tons of pigeon pea, exporting only 200,000 tons to the Indian market.
Like Mozambique, India overproduced. In fact, the high price of ‘pulses’ attracted farmers in both countries to invest in the crop .
“What happened in India is that the price of pulses went up and all the farmers started to produce boer beans. Soon afterwards there was surplus. Now that the price is dropping, farmers will invest in other crops,” the Indian foreign minister explained.
While the “invisible hand” cannot balance the market, the State is considering increasing storage capacity to respond to price changes.
“The small farmers have done their part, but the market is not responding, so we are looking at increasing cereal absorption capacity,” said josé Pacheco.
The Indian foreign minister came to Mozambique to “follow up on decisions that have been taken at the highest level, with a view to operationalising cooperation”.
During the meeting, India expressed its desire to continue training Mozambicans in the areas of agriculture, energy and natural resource management. Scholarship beneficiaries will return to Mozambique and train other Mozambicans.
“At a political level, relations are good, and this needs to be translated into more investment in Mozambique. We hereby encourage the two countries’ private sectors to establish partnerships in areas where they find investment offers,” Pacheco said.
Before meeting Minister Pacheco, the Indian Minister of External Affairs met the Minister of Natural Resources and Energy, Max Tonela, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Ragendra de Sousa and Minister of National Defence, Atanásio Mtumuke. Yesterday, Vijay Kumar Singh was received by President Nyusi.
By Emídio BeúlaSource: O País