In rural Mozambique, bank-funded irrigation systems bring back life and hope to small farmers
Courtesy of IFAD (File photo) / IFAD support over the next five years is aimed at supporting smallholder farmers, as well as aquaculture but is also intended to boost rural markets, to respond to the challenges of climate change, and to deal with gender questions.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has promised to invest 150 million US dollars in Mozambican agriculture in the five year period from 2018 to 2023.
“This sum is intended to support smallholder farmers, as well as aquaculture”, the IFAD representative in Mozambique, Robson Mutandi, told reporters on Thursday, shortly before a meeting to review the performance of government projects financed by IFAD.
The meeting, also attended by representatives of the Bank of Mozambique, and of the Ministries of Agriculture and of Economy and Finance, is intended to draw up an investment strategy for the next five years.
In 2011, the government and IFAD signed a Country Strategic Opportunities Programme (COSOP) which laid down a partnership framework, but this programme expired in 2015.
Mutandi said that IFAD support over the next five years will also be intended to boost rural markets, to respond to the challenges of climate change, and to deal with gender questions. “Our investment strategy will depend on today’s meeting and on other, subsequent meetings, but we already have some investment ideas for the sums to be disbursed over the next five years”, he said.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Domingos Lambo, said that flexibility in procedures, delays in disbursing funds, and the timely contribution of the government in paying taxes and fees, were challenges to be overcome with regard to the portfolio of projects financed by IFAD.
Lambo stressed that alternatives should be sought so that Mozambican agriculture, integrated with other sectors, can increase its levels of production and productivity, and boost the income of peasant farmers.
Since it began cooperating with Mozambique in 1983, aid from IFAD has amounted to about 400 million dollars.