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Agriculture and Food Security

Mozambique food security
Sustainable fishing practices improve food security
Suzanne Poland/USAID


Agriculture continues to be the mainstay of Mozambique’s economy, contributing more than a quarter of its GDP and employing 80 percent of its labor force. The overwhelming majority of producers are subsistence farmers. Chronic food insecurity in Mozambique is exacerbated by climate change and natural disasters such as floods, droughts and cyclones.

Mozambique has vast potential to eventually become a major food producer in Southern Africa. Only 16 percent of land suitable for farming is currently cultivated, and its geographic location between landlocked countries to ocean ports raises Mozambique’s potential to play a role in regional food security and international markets. Improving agricultural productivity and ensuring access to food are now top priorities for Mozambique’s leaders.

Through Feed the Future, USAID is helping thousands of vulnerable households improve their food security by adopting more productive agriculture technologies, improving nutrition and health, and connecting farmers to markets. USAID is also developing and strengthening farmer associations and agribusinesses to improve business practices and increase sales.

To achieve the most impact, Feed the Future in Mozambique focuses agriculture and nutrition efforts in Zambezia and Nampula provinces based on need, potential for impact, and opportunities to leverage other public and private investments. These provinces also contain or are adjacent to the country’s three main trade corridors. Together, the provinces are home to 44 percent of the country’s poor, 43 percent of stunted children under 5 years of age, and 51 percent of underweight children under 5 years of age (370,000).  Investments will focus on oilseed, cashew and fruit value chains, due to the income and nutritional benefits they offer.

In 2010, USAID worked closely with the Government of Mozambique to finalize a 10-year strategic development plan for the agriculture sector. USAID also reached over 20,000 small-scale farmers through a seed and fertilizer “smart subsidy” program, resulting in greater yields for rice and maize. USAID investments in research and technology have also resulted in several improved seed varieties for maize, sweet potatoes and soybeans. 


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Last updated: May 06, 2016

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