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In Mulanguene, central Mozambique, potatoes are produced in abundance but farmers lack access to local markets due to poor roads and end up selling the produce in neighboring Malawi.
Reno Potato is one of the sources of livelihood and income in Mulanguene, Angónia district of Tete province.
But these days, it is also a source of frustration.
“What drives us to take the potatoes to Malawi is the lack of local markets, the lack of roads for us to pass the produce to the village of Ulongué,” explains Gertrude Bonde, a Mozapmbican who responds to Lusa in Chichewa, a language spoken in Malawi.
The 53-year-old farmer describes on the one hand the tragedy of lack of transport and complains about the degradation of roads to transfer tonnes of potatoes from Mulanguene to local markets.
On the other hand, the Malawian kwacha is a weak currency compared to the Mozambican metical, so potato sales there do not cover production costs, he says, in a report similar to that of other farmers.
Mulanguene’s production fields are 48 kilometers from Ulongué, the headquarters of the Angónia region, but the route is made of a dusty, winding road, making a one-way trip by car taking three hours.
This situation has kept transporters away from ferrying tonnes of potatoes to the main markets of Mozambique.
The same fields are only 10 minutes away from a busy market in Malawi through the main road that connects the north and south of that country.Source: Notícias
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