The Mozambican and Japanese governments signed an agreement in Maputo on 19 March under which Japan will donate 10,000 tonnes of rice, valued at US$6.2 million.
The rice is commercial food aid. The money raised by selling the rice will be channelled into the building of infrastructures.
The programme will be coordinated by the Mozambican Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
According to Mozambique’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Oscar Mitha, 6o per cent of the rice will be sold in the central and northern provinces severely affected by flooding earlier this year.
The rice will arrive from November, and will help reduce the pressures on the market at this time of year. Mozambique always has a deficit in rice – the gap between production and consumption is about 200,000 tonnes a year.
The deficit is particularly pressing in the last quarter of the year and the entry of a large donation at this time will ease the pressure for increased rice prices.
Japanese consul Jiro Marumashi stressed the problems caused by the floods, and added “We hope that this year’s food aid will minimize the suffering of Mozambicans and will provide an opportunity for development programmes”.
- Mozambique News Agency
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