Africa-Press – Mozambique. The Agro Mozal project, run by the Mozal aluminum smelting company and implemented by the SOICO Foundation (FUNDASO), delivers seeds and fertilizers to 600 producers in nine growers’ associations in Maputo province’s Boane and Namaacha districts.
Over the last three years, Mozal has invested more than US$1 million (about 64 million meticais) in the Agro Mozal project. The company has now decided to extend the project for another three years and integrate more associations .
The programme dispenses seeds of superior quality, with high germination and yield ratios, for crops such as cabbage, cucumber, pepper and onion, alongside cereals such as corn. Fertilizers have also reached farmers.
The caravan of agricultural inputs from the Agro Mozal project, stops at various places in Boane and Namaacha, always to a warm reception.
Lino Nassone, president of the Comenoi Association, says that the quality of the seeds helps boost production. “We need these seeds to improve our work in our fields,” he comments.
The 25 de Setembro Association, in Mahanhane, Boane, farms 27 hectares, and is looking forward to a transformation with the delivery of a motor pump and other irrigation components.
“The sprayers, motor pump and equipment that we received will help us a lot. We have been working our lands for over 30 years and always been rain-fed, which makes life difficult. From now on, everything will get better,” said association vice-president Gomes Massuque.
Samuel, who has been working for the Agro Mozal project for two years, told ‘O País’ that he managed to improve his machamba, increasing the production area and obtaining greater productive income. He had built his house and improved various infrastructure, both at home and on the farm, as well as providing for his children’s and grandchildren’s schooling.
These gains result from innovation in agrarian techniques, which are transmitted by extension workers who disseminate new technologies and guidelines resulting from technological advances in the agriculture sector to smallholders.
“In the three years of the project, we have already invested around US$750,000,” Mozal representative Gil Cumaio says.” “This year, we are going to invest over US$250,000, bringing the total for this period to around US$1 million. We also hope to increase the number of associations we reach, so that more can benefit.”
FUNDASO has been serving districts in Baone and Namaacha for three years now, working directly with the producers, and has seen production increase dramatically. Patrício Manjate, project manager at FUNDASO, considers that actions in the field have doubled smallholders’ incomes, and increased the sustainability and resilience of production techniques.