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File photo: Noticias
Three centres for the fattening of cattle will soon be constructed in the southern provinces of Maputo, Gaza, and Inhambane to improve beef production and the efficiency of the value chain.
The centres will be built in the districts of Magude, Massingir, and Inharrime as part of the Pro-Poor Value Chain Development Project in the Maputo and Limpopo Corridors (PROSUL).
Saturday’s issue of the daily newspaper “Noticias” reports that a public tender was recently launched to choose the company that will construct and equip the centres.
The project will train livestock breeders and traders in the production, harvesting, and storage of cattle feed as part of the process of the commercialisation of beef production.
The centres will increase food security and improve nutrition for local people, whilst farmers will increase their incomes and diversity the products coming from their cattle. Each centre will handle between 25 and 30 head of cattle and be equipped with weighing scales, water storage, irrigation schemes, forage choppers, and barns.
At the beginning of the fattening process the initiative will provide supplies of feed such as brachiaria (signal grass), beans, elephant grass, and alfalfa, along with animal feed sacks.
According to the organisers, their fundamental role is to drive income diversification and food security based on the principle of focusing on small-scale producers, especially women and young people.
The construction of the fattening centres is part of the programme to revitalise the network of livestock producers through the establishment of veterinarian pharmacies, fodder storage, slaughterhouses, and animal markets.
PROSUL is an initiative of the Mozambican government to support over twenty thousand families in 19 districts. It has a budget of 45 million US dollars for the period 2012 to 2019. Under the scheme water supplies will be opened up and irrigation will be installed to over 2,000 hectares.
PROSUL receives funding from the United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which will invest 150 million US dollars in Mozambican agriculture between 2018 to 2023. IFAD has already disbursed 400 million dollars in the country since 1983.
A report from IFAD published in March this year, found that PROSUL is “making good progress with nearly 74 per cent of planned coverage at the midterm review”.
The report noted that “the southern region of Mozambique is affected by droughts resulting in the lack of water, frequent crop failures, lack of grazing and high mortality of cattle. The increasing frequency and duration of the droughts makes rain fed agriculture extremely risky. To address these issues, the PROSUL project has invested in the promotion of multifunctional boreholes in remote rural areas to ensure water is available for livestock, people, vegetable production and seedling production when they need it”.
The report pointed out that the demand for agricultural products is expanding as a result of increasing incomes, evolving urban markets, and growing private investment in the agri-food and tourism sectors.
However, it warned that “unfortunately current production levels cannot meet this growing demand, without increasing the levels of food insecurity in the rural areas, unless the prevalent unsustainable land management and crop / livestock practices are replaced by climate-resilient management and agricultural production systems”.
To ensure that southern Mozambique can increase its food production to meet this demand, “PROSUL has already shown significant successes in developing value chains and promoting good agricultural practices to kick start the rural transformation process”.Source: AIM