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Argentine Ambassador to Mozambique, Frederico Villegas, said last week in Maputo that Mozambique was in a position to benefit from an agricultural revolution.
His statement came within the framework of the seminar organised in a partnership between the Argentine embassy, the Mozambique Commodity Exchange and BCI bank. This forum shared knowledge about “silobolsa”, a revolutionary storage system which aims to, among other things, solve one of the main rural problems, the lack of space to store agricultural crops.
One of the case studies which the Argentine diplomat introduced was that of Argentina itself.
“Do you know how many millions of hectares of arable land Argentina has?” he asked. “Thirty-six. Most of the land is arid, even if the country is huge in size. It’s the same arable land that Mozambique has.”
“What is the difference [between the two countries]? Argentina uses 34 of the 36 million hectares to produce. That’s why it produces food for 500 million people. And we know that Mozambique uses between 4 to 5 million [hectares of its arable land]. But why do we think Argentina can help make this revolution? Because we were not born that way, Argentina did not come out of nowhere farming 36 million hectares. We are a land of immigrants who had land. These are small producers like the ones here. Exactly the same situation, in another international context, of course. And in 1991, they ranged from 11 to 14 million hectares. ”
“Argentina has become not only a country that is an agricultural power using this system but is the world’s largest exporter of the same system, simple and adaptable for all types of producers. In a country as large as Mozambique [the same system] would surely be useful to take advantage of and not lose the 20-30% lost post-harvest here.”
Pedro Zucula, National Director for Agriculture and Forestry at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, said that “about 20-30% of losses in agriculture are post-harvest, caused by poor conservation conditions and susceptibility to pest and disease attack. So we present this initiative as a manifestation of universal solidarity, helping find solutions towards Mozambicans’ food security, and also helping leverage the economy through agrarian production.”
“The silo project responds exactly to the concerns of the government and the population. And we, as a government, reiterate our commitment to doing everything we can to help this project achieve its macro goals.”
BCI administrator Aguiar stressed that “BCI is fully convinced that the goal of promoting agricultural development, a critical sector for economic growth in Mozambique, involves creating favourable conditions for entrepreneurs, including financing, to increase their business.”
“You can continue to count on BCI as a true partner, concerned with providing proximity, security and confidence and the support you need to invest in improving agricultural activity, as a vital sector for the well-being of the population.”Source: Rádio Moçambique
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