The authorities in the northern Mozambican province of Nampula intend this year to open seven “logistical poles” to provide integrated assistance to producers throughout the agricultural production value chain.
These poles will provide services of technical assistance, storage and processing intended for producers and traders in each of the seven areas, announced the Provincial Director of Agriculture, Jaime Chissico, on Tuesday, during a seminar organised by the Mozambique Merchandise Exchange (BMM).
“We are finalising a study which defines as a strategy the installation of seven agricultural logistics poles this year”, said Chissico. “This will allow the integrated development of agricultural production, and technical assistance services will be offered in terms of supplying inputs, and processing and storage logistics. We expect that the Mozambique Merchandise Exchange will play an important role in this initiative”.
The BMM, a body under the supervision of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, began a series of meetings this week in Nampula City with government officials, producers and traders, to publicise the services it offers, essentially in intermediation in agricultural markets, to assist in marketing.
Chissico believed that this action of the BMM has a direct influence on the good performance of the agricultural sector.
“There are clear lessons from how the BMM works”, he said, “and replicating this for thousands of producers and traders provides them with more of a basis to facilitate marketing their products”.
Chissico added that the recent agricultural campaigns in Nampula had produced excellent results. The production of food and cash crops had risen from six million tonnes in 2015 to over ten million tonnes in the 2018-19 agricultural year. But there were still challenges in producing enough vegetables to meet demand.
“Our challenge is centred on producing vegetables, so that production rises from 256,000 to 420,000 tonnes a year”, said Chissico. “However, we are self-sufficient in onions, as well as in root crops, producing over eight million tonnes of cassava and sweet potatoes”.
Chissico added that Nampula is also self-sufficient in grain, producing about 970,000 tonnes a years, as well as in pulses, with a production of over 550,000 tonnes a year.
The key cash crop in the province is cashew nuts. Nampula is the province with the largest cashew harvest in the country, and the amount has been rising since 2015.
“In 2015 38,000 tonnes of cashew nuts were marketed in Nampula”, said Chissico, “but in this campaign, the figure is 70,000 tonnes”.