Maputo — Marracuene (Mozambique), April 21 (AIM) – Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Wednesday launched the 2022/2023 agricultural marketing campaign in Marracuene district, about 30 kilometers north of Maputo.
The marketing target for this year is just over 17 million tonnes of various crops. 21% of this is expected to be cereals, with root crops accounting for 45%, vegetables 13%, pulses 11%, oilseeds 4% and miscellaneous other crops 20%.
Nyusi insisted that the current marketing campaign bring immediate results by generating income for rural households and improving the well-being of Mozambicans, as fundamental objectives of its governance.
He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to promote industrialization as a stimulating factor for the expansion of agricultural production.
This would be to “continue the reforms underway to attract investment, alongside the construction of infrastructure in rural areas, including roads and electrification”.
Nyusi urged all marketing players to take advantage of Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera’s visit this Thursday to internationalize Mozambican economic activities.
Chakwera, he said, will visit the Marracuene facilities of the Maputo International Trade Fair (FACIM), where he will address Mozambican businessmen. “Malawi produces a lot, but above all it needs a lot, and it is not difficult to bring business to Malawi. Let’s internationalize our economic activities. You will see the impact of internationalization.”
For his part, the Minister of Industry and Trade, Silvino Moreno, said that when talking about the agricultural marketing chain, the government refers to all operational and commercial activities from the place of production. , through harvesting, processing, storage and distribution to the final consumer.
“The efficiency of this process requires improving the activities at each stage of the chain so that the final product reaches the consumer in acceptable standards and with the necessary quality,” he said.
Moreno added that it also requires ongoing dialogue with other marketing actors, including the merchant farmers themselves, transporters, storage and processing units, processors, regulators and policy makers.
Nyusi also challenged Mozambican farmers to increase onion and potato production to improve the country’s trade balance. He said Mozambique continues to import potatoes that have been rejected by other countries.
“Let’s seriously grow potatoes, here in (the neighboring district of) Moamba,” he urged his audience. There were many opportunities to grow potatoes, not only in Maputo province, but in Niassa, in the far north and in the central province of Tete.
“Let’s not humble ourselves by importing goods that we can perfectly grow here,” he urged.
Statistics cited by Nyusi show that in 2020, Mozambique exported agricultural products worth $604.2 million, but agricultural imports into Mozambique were more than 50% higher at $998.5 million. dollars.
“This means that we recorded a negative agricultural trade balance of more than 394 million dollars,” he pointed out. And among the products contributing to the negative balance are onions and potatoes.
“In 2020, we imported onions worth $15.8 million, and in 2021 those imports increased to $19.4 million,” Nyusi said. The situation was similar with potatoes. Potato imports were $18.8 million in 2020, rising to $21.8 million in 2021.
Increasing local production of onions and potatoes could therefore make a significant difference in Mozambican trade balance, argued Nyusi.