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September 22, 2008

IFAD lends Mozambique $31 million to assist small scale farmers with marketing

Mozambique has been granted a $31.1 million loan facility to enable small-scale farmers in that country to market their surpluses more profitably. The loan was approved by the International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD).

Underperforming rural and agricultural markets seriously affect the livelihood of the majority of the rural population in northern Mozambique, said IFAD, a United Nations programme, in the press release.

"Because of poor returns from surplus sales, smallholders adopt low-risk strategies, resulting in some of the lowest yields in southern Africa."

The programme would improve the terms of trade for smallholders, providing them with the incentives to move out of semi-subsistence agriculture. It would support 20 000 farmers in some 670 farmers' associations and 375 small-scale traders.

The programme had been designed to encourage the poorer members of the community to participate.

"Smallholders will be able to market their surpluses more profitably, thereby increasing income. Access to and participation in agricultural markets and value chains will be improved and efficient market intermediaries and effective partnerships will be established, stimulating increases in agricultural production," said IFAD.

Since its formation in 1978, IFAD has provided $143.9 million in loans to nine programmes and projects in Mozambique.

Two thirds of Mozambique's 20 million people live below the poverty line, according to World Bank statistics.


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