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Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi argued on Friday that Mozambique enjoys all the necessary conditions to cease being a mere consumer of agricultural produce and to become a major producer.
Speaking at the first National Forum on Agricultural Marketing, held in Mocuba, in the central province of Zambezia, Nyusi called for changes in the way crops are marketed. He said the current marketing model is essentially reactive, without the capacity to respond pro-actively to the expectations of the Mozambican population. It did not contribute towards an agriculture that rose to meet the country’s agro-ecological potential
He went further, admitting that marketing has become a bottleneck in the national productive chain.
To reverse this scenario, the President said, it was a national imperative to involve all stakeholders in removing the obstacles that are hindering the normal flow of agricultural marketing. All barriers had to be removed, so that Mozambican agriculture contributes to the country’s self-sufficiency, and reduces the need for food imports.
“We want to transmit the message that when we improve the marketing chain, we are also building the fundamental pillars to raise the levels of national agricultural production and productivity”, he added.
He said that the poor state of rural roads was one of the main hindrances to effective marketing, and pledged that the government will continue to invest in transport and communication infrastructures to ensure that the crops produced by farmers reach market in good condition.
Nyusi said the results of the forum should begin to be reflected as from the 2017/2018 marketing campaign. “Our debates must look for concrete solutions, and not simply revolve around the already known problems and rhetoric. Let us put aside justifications and explanations for failures”, he declared.
It was a priority, Nyusi said, to build a national food reserve, and ensure that it could be available for consumers whenever necessary. He recommended that the Ministry of Industry and Trade should be to the forefront in regulating agricultural marketing, and guaranteeing the State’s food reserve for periods of crisis.