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Economist João Mosca argues that the Mozambican government should design public policies aimed at encouraging domestic investors in the agriculture sector to produce for the local market and reduce the prevalence of malnutrition rates.
According to the Lancet Commission’s report on the world’s nutrition situation launched this Wednesday in Maputo, more than 820 million people regularly experience hunger.
Mozambique has a chronic malnutrition rate of around 43%, while food insecurity stands at about 24%.
The report says that reducing chronic malnutrition and promoting a safe and healthy diet involves tackling five areas. These include seeking international and national commitment to changing to healthier diets, redirecting agricultural food to produce large quantities of healthy food, sustainably intensifying high-quality food production, strengthening and coordinating governance of land and oceans, and reducing food losses and waste by at least half.
The report does not determine which measures, in Mozambique’s case, should be prioritised in order to reverse the scenario, but economist João Mosca proposes public policies that stimulate smallholders to produce for the domestic market, given that they produce more than 90 percent of the country’s food.
In addition to investing in smallholders, João Mosca says that it is necessary to increase the income especially of people in rural areas, so that they can afford a healthy diet.
The economist also recommends policies to contain population growth, which is outstripping slow economic growth.
By Dário CossaSource: O País