In Mozambique, droughts and floods caused by climate change have been weakening self-sustaining capacities, particularly those of the inhabitants of the poorest districts. In collaboration with the International Economic Cooperation Institute (ICEI), CELIM has launched a project that aims to diversify agricultural production through the introduction of fish farming and beekeeping, and to improve agricultural techniques, storage, processing and marketing.
Objective: To help strengthen the resilience of 19,760 vulnerable people affected by climate change in the South-Western region of Zambezia.
More than three thousand farmers involved
In 2016, the drought affected 1.5 million people
In recent years, Mozambique has been hit hard by climate change. The drought that affected the country in 2015 and 2016 hit hard 1.5 million people in seven central and southern provinces. 2016-17 was a better year in terms of precipitation, but it was followed by another decrease in rainfall in some central and southern areas, whereas in other northern areas higher than normal rainfalls were recorded which led to flooding. According to the Humanitarian Country Team, due to floods and cyclones, another 190 thousand people would need assistance in addition to the 1.5 million already affected by drought.
This mainly affects agriculture, which is mostly subsistence farming with very little diversification due to the inadequacy of the production inputs used and the scarce technical skills of the producers. Post-production processes and resilience capabilities are also inefficient and underdeveloped.
Zambezia is the second province of Mozambique. With a GDP per capita of 288 US dollars, it is also one of the poorest regions of the country, with a poverty rate that has risen from 41% (2008) to 55% (2015).
The Province comprises approximately eight million arable hectares (only 18% of which is currently being used) and has good potential for diversified agricultural production. Agricultural activities consist mostly of subsistence farming and there is very little diversification. The situation is made even worse by climate change. Due to low rainfall in 2016, over 50% of households were forced to sow their crops – mostly corn and rice – more than twice, thus reducing their food reserves and availability. The thunderstorms that followed the drought in some areas killed 28 people and destroyed 423 homes.
The project, which will be carried out in the districts of Morrumbala and Nicoadala in the southern area of the central province of Zambezia, fits within the Mozambican government’s regional development plans that aim to strengthen the adaptability to climate change of over three thousand producers and their families. All this is part of a plan to strengthen the risk management and emergency response skills that aims to avoid large asset and harvest losses, and, as a result, stabilise and improve the beneficiaries’ economic conditions.
The action plan includes interventions aimed at improving agricultural production by adopting improved/innovative techniques of agricultural preparation and cultivation and producing certified seeds. At the same time the diffusion and strengthening of new supply chains will be promoted, thus guaranteeing the diversification of production. The action on the land will take place in parallel to training sessions on capacity building, credit promotion, and distribution of productive inputs with a functional methodology, already successfully tested. This will complete a framework of activities in which women, present in all interventions, become critical players of the desired resilient development.
The direct beneficiaries will be 3,952 producers (1,899 men and 2,053 women) of the districts of Morrumbala and Nicoadala.
However, this project will also indirectly benefit a population of about 20 thousand vulnerable people affected by climate change in the South-Western region of Zambezia.
S.A.C.R.A – Sviluppo Agricolo per Comunità Resilienti e Autonome in Zambezia
Mauro Vigo, firstname.lastname@example.org
October 2018 – April 2020
Istituto Cooperazione Economica Internazionale (Icei)