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Photo courtesy: FAO Mozambique
A complete assessment of the impact of cyclone Idai on Mozambican agriculture shows that it devastated 813,000 hectares of crops in the 71 districts affected by the cyclone, according to Agriculture Minister Higino de Marrule.
Idai struck central Mozambique on 14 March. Most of the damage was done in the central provinces of Sofala, Manica, Tete and Zambezia, but the torrential rains also affected districts in the northern part of Inhambane province.
Speaking in Tete city on Friday, at a meeting discussing the new minimum price for raw cotton, Marule said the crops ruined by Idai belonged to 496,101 households.
Livestock farmers also took a heavy blow. Marrule said that about 13,860 livestock farmers lost 5,375 head of cattle, 3,172 pigs, 7,467 small ruminants (mostly goats), and 108,198 birds (mainly chickens).
Most Mozambican cotton is produced in the northern provinces, which were unscathed by Idai. But Marrule said that 0.5 per cent of the country’s cotton producers, and 0.6 per cent of the area planted with cotton were affected.
Before the cyclone struck, the cotton production target for this year was 60,000 tonnes, grown by 170,000 households on an area of 100,000 hectares.
Marrule said that the second cyclone, Kenneth, which hit the coast of the northern province of Cabo Delgado on 25 April, is having a serious effect on the cotton crop, though he gave no figures. The torrential rains the cyclone brought to Cabo Delgado and to some coastal districts in the neighbouring province of Nampula are causing some of the cotton to rot in the fields. In these districts, Marrule expected the weight and quality of the cotton fibre to be reduced.Source: AIM
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