Friday, July 12, 2024

World Bank invests 15 million dollars in the private agricultural sector in six Mozambican provinces

The World Bank recently announced a significant disbursement of more than US$15 million to boost the development of the private agricultural sector in six provinces in central and northern Mozambique. The areas benefiting include the production and processing of seeds, cashews and agro-processing.
The provinces covered by this strategic investment are Sofala, Manica, Tete, Zambézia, Nampula and Niassa. The initiative aims to stimulate growth in agricultural production and productivity, as well as boosting the private sector, which has long been clamouring for more incentives to consolidate itself on the economic scene.
The amount released is part of the MozRural project, a government initiative that seeks to improve the income of rural families. The Provincial Delegate of the National Fund for Sustainable Development in Zambézia (FNDS), José Gonçalo, emphasised that the aim of the project is to promote the development of agricultural and forestry value chains, thus improving the quality of life of rural households.
During the launch ceremony for the call for funding for Small and Medium Agribusiness Enterprises, held in the city of Quelimane, José Gonçalo reiterated that the fund seeks to boost sustainable agriculture, promoting positive social, economic and environmental impacts.

MozRural covers seven structural components, including support for family agricultural production, technology transfer, financing, markets, planning and production organisation, as well as environmental and social safeguards and producer subsidies. Part of the funds will be used to finance small and medium-sized enterprises in the agribusiness sector and small producers operating in the areas of cashew, agro-processing and seeds.
Companies interested in seed production and processing will be able to apply for funding of between one million and fifty million meticais. For the cashew sector, the limits range from one million five hundred thousand to eighteen million meticais, while SMEs in the agro-processing sector will be able to apply for amounts between six million and forty million meticais. In both cases, qualified bidders will have to contribute 30 per cent of the funding, while the implementer will be responsible for 70 per cent.

Zambezia’s provincial director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Fernando Namacura, emphasised that this funding represents a crucial opportunity to solve challenges faced by the private agricultural sector. He encouraged entrepreneurs to seek the additional 30 per cent from banks in order to take full advantage of this opportunity. The entrepreneurs, for their part, showed optimism and pledged to improve the business environment in the agricultural sector.
Florinda Fondo, an entrepreneur specialising in seed production based in Mocuba, pledged to increase production and stressed the importance of strengthening agrarian connectivity between seed producers, traders and farmers. She also emphasised that local production becomes more financially accessible, especially considering the high logistical costs associated with imports.

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