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World Bank approves US$150mn to help small agriculture producers and fishers

The World Bank has approved US$150mn grant from the International Development Association (IDA) in support of the first phase of Mozambique’s Sustainable Rural Economy Programme

To start, this first phase of a 10-year programme will tackle some of the pressing challenges facing small agriculture producers and fishers as well as Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), while improving natural resources management practices.

The project will provide support to small agriculture producers and fisheries to increase their productivity and access to markets and help MSMEs improve their sales while promoting the adoption of climate-smart agriculture practices. The programme adopts a landscape approach to rural resilience, linking the support for productivity and value addition in the agriculture sector to the adoption of sound natural resource management practices on which rural production depends.

Diego Arias Carballo, Lead Agriculture Economist, and the operation’s task team leader, said, “It’s evident that economic expansion in agriculture yields the highest impact on poverty reduction in Mozambique. However, the sector’s potential continues to be challenged by low productivity, mostly due to low technology adoption, limited provision of agricultural services, coupled with high seasonality in production, as well as increasing climate vulnerability. This project seeks to address some of these challenges.”

Franka Braun, senior natural resources management specialist, and the project’s co-task team leader, said, “Rural women in Mozambique face numerous constraints in accessing essential productive resources, services, technology, market information, and financing. This project will promote gender equity in the agriculture and fisheries sectors, which would not only empower women to achieve their economic potential, but also help to reduce poverty and food insecurity in Mozambique.”

This operation will be implemented by the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADER), Land and Environment (MTA) and Sea, Inland Waters and Fisheries (MIMAIP), and it is in line with the country’s priorities outlined in its five-year plan, the Bank’s partnership framework with Mozambique for FY 2017-21, as well as the new conflict-prevention and resilience-building focus of the World Bank activities in Mozambique.