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The Mozambican government is planning to cut down on spraying subsidies for cashew trees, which could start by the year end.
The pilot phase will take place in the northern province of Cabo Delgado and producers are expected to bear at least 20 per cent of the spraying costs.
Mozambique sprays annually about 5.2 million cashew trees at a cost of about three million US dollars, fully funded by the National Cashew Institute (INCAJU).
Speaking during an interview with the daily “Notícias”, the national director of INCAJU, Ilídio Bande, explained that, besides reducing the costs borne by the government, the decision also opens space for the private sector to consider spraying as a business.
“From this campaign onwards, we will try few models to cut down on subsidies to reduce INCAJU’s costs. We will also pave the way for the private sector to face this task as a business, “he said.
“We are going to carry a pilot project in Cabo Delgado with our partner TecnoServ. Then, we will use private companies to deliver the chemicals directly to producers and then assess whether in the coming years we could reduce this burden of INCAJU, “he stressed.
Bande pointed out that spraying costs about three million dollars annually at the current exchange rate, which means that 250 to 260 million meticais. “You see that it’s lot money”, he added.
According to Bande, the idea is to issue a card to all producers who will have to pay their own share of the chemical they will receive through a private service provider.
In a first phase, he said, producers will have to bear at least 20 per cent of the costs.
Cashew nut production this year reached 137,400 tonnes, exceeding the initial forecast of 120,000 tonnes and is already considered the biggest harvest of the last 30 years, up from 104,000 tonnes reached in the previous year.
The northern province of Nampula accounted or 44 per cent of overall production, followed by neighbouring Cabo Delgado (15 per cent) and the central province of Zambezia (12 per cent).
In the 1970s Mozambique was the world’s largest producer of cashew nuts with annual production of 216,000 tonnes.Source: AIM