Find Agriculture expertise in Mozambique
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries contribute about 28% of Mozambique’s GDP (2010) and agriculture accounts for 62.7% of land use. The main agricultural crops include cotton, cashew nuts, sugarcane, tea, cassava (tapioca), corn, coconuts, sisal, tobacco, citrus and tropical fruits, potatoes and sunflowers. In terms of livestock beef and poultry are the most common agricultural products. A significant portion of the agricultural sector is dominated by subsistence farming. Less than 10% of the total cultivated area is utilised by commercial farmers to grow cash or export crops (2007). The largest irrigation scheme in Mozambique is located near the city of Chokwe (260km from Maputo) in the Gaza Province. The main export crops are sugar, citrus, copra, tea, cotton and sisal which go to South Africa, Portugal and Japan. The Zambezi Valley is considered to have major investment opportunities, and the government has established the Zambezi Planning Office for the purpose of promoting and coordinating development in the region.
The World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report (2012-2013) ranks Mozambique 135th out of 144 countries in terms of agricultural policy costs with a score of 3.0 out of 7, below the world mean of 3.9. Mozambique has been identified by international development bodies as an area of huge agricultural potential. Due to the fact that most farmers work in extreme poverty without access to either tractors or beasts of burden, they are only able to farm very small areas of land leaving vast tracts of fertile land unfarmed. There is some disagreement amongst G8 leaders on how agricultural development in Mozambique should proceed. One approach focuses on large agribusiness with some involvement from smallholder farmers; the other possibility, put forward by the Africa Progress Panel, concentrates on raising productivity amongst small-scale subsistence farmers. Much of the country’s tobacco is grown on small-scale farms; the Universal Leaf Tobacco Company runs a scheme with these farmers which provides support and investment for the growers and provides a guaranteed market.