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February 01, 2012

Argentine experts to assist Mozambican fruit industry

Argentina plans to share its agricultural expertise with Mozambican farmers to help increase yields and productivity in a range of crops, including bananas, citrus and exotic fruit.

A delegation from the government-backed National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) recently met with farmers to discuss starting a pilot project between March and April. The move follows a research project in neighboring South Africa that was launched in late 2011.

INTA international technical cooperation general manager Daniel Díaz, said his organization would be looking at how to replicate Argentina’s successful Pro-Huerta project, which helped 600,000 families develop their farmland, in Mozambique.

“The areas of cooperation with the African country would be animal and plant health, direct sowing, biotechnology, irrigation, technology transfer, development of crops,” he said.

Diaz said he was confident the new iniative would be successful because of the Mozambican farmers’ agricultural experience and willingness to learn. The Mozambique National Farmers Union has welcomed the project as a major boost for its plans to increase the country’s agricultural development.

Mozambique has 36 million hectares of potential farming land but at the moment just 10% of its land is devoted to crop growing. The country has a population of 21 million with 3,500,000 small producers, living off plots of land of 0.5-5 hectares, accounting for 98% of all farms.

In addition to fruit the country’s main crops are beans, cassava, rice, soya beans, palm oil, sunflower oil, sweet potatoes cotton and cotton.


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