The coordinator of ProSAVANA and director general of the Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique (IIAM), Calisto Bias, said at a recent presentation in Maputo that the project would contribute greatly to food security and diversification in the Nacala Corridor, covering the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Zambezia, Nampula and Niassa.
ProSAVANA is part of the government’s 2011-2020 Strategic Plan for the Development of the Agricultural Sector (PEDSA), the main objectives of which are to increase productivity, ensure access to markets, use natural resources in a sustainable manner and strengthen the business skills of farmers.
The project, which is funded by the governments of Mozambique and Japan, has three components, the first of which is ProSAVANA - PI, a research project that began in April 2011 and will run until March 2016. The project will, according to the government, strengthen the capacity of the experimental stations of the IIAM in Lichinga and Nampula; assess the impact of introducing new agricultural technologies on natural resources and the environment; develop technologies to improve soils; and develop technologies for crop and livestock production.
The second phase of the project, ProSAVANA – PD, which began in March 2012 and will reach completion in 2014, will reportedly develop a master plan to contribute to social and economic development by engaging private investment to promote sustainable production systems and poverty reduction.
Targeting small and medium scale farmers, ProSAVANA – PD will aim to increase productivity, production and diversification and develop marketing, processing and the supply of inputs to increase agricultural products for the financial benefit of farmers, the government said.
The plan will cover 19 districts: Monapo, Muecate, Meconta, Nampula, Mogovolas, Murrupula, Mecubure, Ribaue, Lalaua and Malema in Nampula Province; Cuamba, Mecanhelas, Madimba, Ngauma, Lichinga, Majune and Sanga in Niassa Province; and Gurue and Alto Molocue in Zambezia Province.
The third and final phase, ProSavana - PEM will increase production of various crops by adopting new agricultural development models in the target areas and is scheduled for completion in May 2019, the government said.
According to Calisto Bias, the geography of the Nacala Corridor provides exceptional potential for agricultural production. Bias stressed that this must be done in a sustainable manner to guarantee self-sufficiency in food production and income generation.