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Farmers and agricultural traders from all districts in Zambézia are celebrating the opening of new warehouse facilities and retail stores offering value-added services to farmers.
The construction of the facilities is the result of a partnership between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Export Marketing Company Limited (EMCL) and gives farmers access to markets, inputs and equipment that will help them boost agricultural production.
Agriculture constitutes more than a quarter of Mozambique’s gross domestic product and employs more than 80 percent of the country’s workforce, but the vast majority of Mozambican farmers produce only enough food to feed their families. Innovations in agriculture which lead to increased productivity could make Mozambique a major food producer in Southern Africa.
The centre in Milange, Zambézia, will provide farmers with the markets, inputs and equipment they need to move from subsistence to commercial agriculture.
“Building partnerships with the private sector to help small farmers become more productive is the best way to build markets and develop the agricultural sector in a sustainable way,” John Irons, Head of Agriculture and Economics at USAID, said at the opening ceremony.
The centre is part of a larger project supported by USAID through the Feed the Future initiative and a private sector partner, the Export Marketing Company Limited (EMCL). This initiative has to date supported more than 60,000 farmers in Manica, Nampula, Tete and Zambézia.
The centre’s priority is investing in small farmers and creating greater market opportunities for the commodities they produce. Reducing the agricultural productivity gap and improving standards and access to new markets are key to Mozambique’s economic development. Sustainable growth in the agricultural sector has the potential to vastly improve the lives of Mozambicans in rural communities.
The partnership with Export Marketing Company Limited (EMCL) is managed by Feed the Future Partner for Innovation, a USAID-funded program that markets agricultural technologies to help the private sector scale up. For more information on Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation, visit http://www.partneringforinnovation.org/Source: US Embassy / Press Release