From scarcity to surplus in Mozambique

From scarcity to surplus in Mozambique

Note: The Mozambican unit of exchange is the metical (plural meticais)  

One of the unique facets of FRB is that it allows time for programs to study unexpected results and challenges, learn from them, and share their findings with other programs and partners. FRB’s Tete-Mutarara program works with local farmers to improve their harvests so that nutritious food is available to them year-round. However, unusual and extreme weather patterns can cause emergency situations that alter well-laid plans. 

After flooding in early 2013 destroyed much of the newly planted crop, the program provided over 21 metric tons of improved seeds to the disaster survivors. Jorge, one of the affected farmers, said, “If not for these seeds, many people here would be suffering.”  The weather then cooperated and led to an abundant harvest, a surplus, or even a glut, in many cases.

In three communities, many farmers let tomatoes rot in the field because the price was so low that it did not make economic sense to harvest and transport them to the market to sell at a loss. Some of the farmers dried their tomatoes to store for the off season to avoid a total loss. However, one of the families found a way to take advantage of their surplus tomatoes.  

Khembo and Fatima decided to blend and grind their tomatoes into paste, then store it in plastic containers sealed with a layer of oil. They explained that the tomatoes stay fresh and maintain color and taste for several weeks this way. A container of their tomato paste sold at about 250 meticais (US$8.40) in the off season, much higher than 100 meticais (US$3.35) that fresh tomatoes were bringing at the market.  

Because of this experience, the farmers and program staff have begun strategically planning the type of seeds that are distributed and their days to harvest so that farmers can better benefit from a greater variety of crops more months of the year.   

Foods Resource Bank’s Mozambique Tete-Mutarara program is led by World Renew and local partner Igreja Reformada em Mozambique. Mozambique Tete-Mutarara encompasses 3 communities, 1200 households and 6000 individuals 

 

03/28/2014 | Comments: 0 | Add Comment