From: Moçambique: Increasing economic growth and political stability in the post civil-war era:  Useful strategies:  Summary of an organizational consultation completed in November 1991

© 1992, 1999, 2016 by Stan De Loach, Ph.D., organizational consultant

6.  Stimulating the production of key agricultural products

Priorities for agricultural production should be rationalized in order to meet the needs of the population for food and to permit greater export of a surplus of lucrative commodities in demand on the world market.  The soil, climate, and rural work force of Moçambique favor the production of a greater diversity of food crops than is presently grown.  The health and economic well-being of the population stand to benefit from supplies of a larger variety of foodstuffs.  A varied diet is related to reductions in health crises and needs for costly health care.

The introduction of new sources of protein and carbohydrate, such as rabbit, breadfruit, and mamey, together with expanded production and availability of established agricultural products, such as chicken, mangoes, coconut, and tomatoes, can boost the quality of the nation's diet.  Extending the variety and distribution of foodstuffs can be expected to lower the cost of healthful nutrition.

Educational campaigns, utilizing the print and broadcast media, should be a part of any planned change of agricultural and dietary habits.  Such programs are exceedingly difficult to implement.  The people's consumption of an increased variety of products is an incentive to farmers of small plots to market produce directly to the consumer for a price determined by the level of demand.  The cultivation of family gardens and gardens utilizing vacant city land can be stimulated by an effective and inexpensive form of agricultural subsidy, namely, the provision of seeds without charge to persons with access to plots of land suitable for cultivation.

At all levels of production, inexpensive, ecologically sound supplementary practices should be encouraged.  The habit of burning plant detritus should be discouraged.  Composting and the use of available natural fertilizers should be promoted.  Logical and easily implemented soil and water conservation measures should be taught.  Low-technology methods of drainage and rural sewage treatment should be introduced.

The elaboration and packaging of all items manufactured in Moçambique, including agricultural products, should demonstrate consciousness of the environment.  When feasible, the packaging should be reusable or recyclable.  Consciousness of the environment should be demonstrated and highlighted in the marketing and packaging of all products for export.

The stock and technology for expanded cashew and flower production are already present in the country.  Efficient management and marketing of these crops offer the potential for significant income.

Although the country's internal warfare has been an impediment, the government should address the distribution of food as a priority matter.  Provision for the availability of foodstuffs should typify the government's concern for the basic needs of the people.  Especially in times of internal strife and national crisis and especially in the cities, the demonstration of this concern is essential to the government's maintenance of its legitimacy and authority.

The government might consider increasing incentives for industries to make use of locally-grown agricultural produce.  Surplus fruit production, for example, might permit the elaboration of a nutritious, nationally accepted drink to compete with the transnationally-owned beverages that dominate the market and that are low in nutritional value.  Via a commercial exchange initiative with other tropical countries in which consumption of natural or carbonate fruit beverages is substantial, an appealing fruit drink formula might be obtained.  Alternatively, a fruit-based formula might be created locally to take into account Moçambican tastes and preferences.

Reports on consultations in other areas:
1.   Steps to stimulate and reward excellence
2.   Immigration policies
3.   Transportation
4.   Tourism: Stable source of economic, cultural, and political enrichment
5.   Education and the welfare of children
6.   Stimulating the production of key agricultural products
7.   Export strategies
8.   Rational tax and tariff structures
9.   Appeal to donated (and handy) resources
10. Managing corruption in government personnel and services
11. Political decision-making for long-range progress

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