Monday, January 29, 2024

Nampula City, Mozambique

[Remarks as Prepared]

DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR ISOBEL COLEMAN: Your Excellency, Governor of Nampula, Manuel Rodrigues Alberto, Your Excellency Ambassador Vrooman, Your Excellency Ambassador Gaschen Esteemed guests, all protocol observed.

Salama, good afternoon!

I’m so pleased to be with all of you here today in Nampula. 

My sincere thanks and gratitude to Governor Rodrigues Alberto – and all of our Mozambican Government partners – for the warm welcome this week. 

And my thanks to all of our partners gathered here today – the Swiss Development Corporation, TechnoServe, and other representatives from the Government of Mozambique. 

16 years ago, USAID launched Feed the Future, America’s most ambitious global hunger and food security initiative, to help countries tackle the root causes of food insecurity and malnutrition. Alongside partners, including those here today, we have lifted millions out of hunger and poverty. 

And we’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way – lessons demonstrated by today’s establishment of the PRO, or the Premier-Oholo, partnership.

One lesson is that successful donor coordination, such as that here today, allows us to expand our impact. 

The joint USAID-Swiss Development Corporation’s PRO Partnership will help farmers and business owners across the agricultural value chain transition from subsistence agriculture to a market-based system. 

The second lesson is demonstrated by the PRO partnership’s commitment to market-based solutions. 

Today, the private sector – agribusiness in particular – is playing a critical role in creating opportunities that improve the lives of the people and communities USAID supports. Small agribusinesses across Africa are the continent’s largest employer and economic engine.

But analysis of agricultural development in Mozambique shows that less than 20 percent of smallholder farmers have both the resources and the incentives to transition away from subsistence farming. 

That’s why the PRO partnership builds relationships between communities and private sector actors along the Nacala Corridor to grow and enhance local markets. 

Earlier today, I visited a local poultry company, Lovemore Frango e Ração. 

Last year, Lovemore, along with eight other local businesses, won grants from USAID’s Feed the Future worth $1.2M dollars to expand their businesses throughout the Nacala Corridor. Lovemore expects its grant to generate at least 80 new jobs; supply 180 new retailers; and boost annual chicken and egg sales by hundreds of thousands of units here in Nampula. 

A third lesson we’ve learned is that some of the most effective, sustainable investments to address food insecurity and malnutrition are investments in women. If we can close the gender gap in farm productivity, we would see significant increases in global GDP, and large reductions in food insecurity.

That’s why women – and youth – are at the center of the new PRO partnership. And why women and youth are at the center of USAID Mozambique’s strategy throughout the country. 

This year marks 40 years of partnership between Mozambique and USAID. We’ve worked together to improve health and education outcomes; to foster peace, stability, transparent governance, human rights, and economic growth that benefit all Mozambicans. 

And while we still face many development challenges, with the commitment to local solutions and collaboration that we are witnessing here today, we together will make important gains in food security in Mozambique. 

Thank you. Estamos juntos.

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