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Argentine experts to assist Mozambican fruit industry

Argentina will share its agricultural expertise with fruit farmers in Mozambique

The experts will advise farmers on how to increase yields and productivity in a range of crops, including bananas, citrus and exotic fruit. A delegation from the government-backed National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) recently met with farmers to discuss starting a pilot project between March and April. The move follows a research project in neighbouring South Africa that was launched in late 2011.

INTA’s international technical co-operation general manager, Daniel Díaz, said his organisation would be looking to replicate Argentina’s successful Pro-Huerta project, which helped 600,000 families develop their farmland, in Mozambique.

“The areas of co-operation with the African country would be animal and plant health, direct sowing, biotechnology, irrigation, technology transfer, development of crops,” he said.

Diaz said he was confident the new initiative would be successful because of the Mozambican farmers’ agricultural experience and willingness to learn. The Mozambique National Farmers Union has welcomed the project as a major boost for its plans to increase the country’s agricultural development.

Mozambique has 36mn ha of potential farming land but at the moment just 10 per cent of its land is devoted to crop growing. The country has a population of 21mn with 3.5mn small producers, living off plots of land of 0.5-5 ha, accounting for 98 per cent of all farms. In addition to fruit, the country’s main crops are beans, cassava, rice, soya beans, palm oil, sunflower oil, sweet potatoes and cotton.