Agriculture: Big projects, peasant support - By Joseph Hanlon
The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security’s Third Coordinating Council has given rise to a three-day visit to several districts of the country’s capital province, seeking solutions to the problems presented.
Minister José Pacheco’s visit began with the producers of Infulene Valley, who presented three main concerns: an obstructed irrigation ditch which caused flooding after rain; the lack of road access to get fresh vegetables to market; and lack of proper land right use to protect producers’ investment.
On Thursday, Pacheco went to inspect infrastructure at first hand and reiterated his promise that rehabilitation of the trench would begin next week and access road building soon thereafter, and said he would initiate a search for information about the land right situation within Matola Municipal Council.
Pacheco also visited successful horticultural producers who supply supermarket chains in the capital and poultry farmers, all promised government support for the expansion of production.
Visiting chicken producer Higest, the minister challenged the group to expand market share during the ban on chicken imports. Higest intends to invest US$25 million to triple domestic production over the next two years.
Pacheco also visited a public-private vineyard investment project involving the Portuguese Visabeira group. The project currently covers just half a hectare and is producing non-marketable grapes, but is expected to start producing marketable grapes within two years.
The main focus, however, is on national wine production, which is expected to start in 2020.
This ‘Experimenta Vinha’ project is also rolling out in Manica province’s Sussundenga district.
Today and tomorrow, the Minister Pancheco is to visit other parts of Maputo province to monitor work towards the goals of the 2016/17 agricultural campaign. Among his destinations are the districts of Magude and Manhiça, both potential food producers.Source: O País