An FAO emergency project in Mozambique is providing farmers with the seeds and tools they need to start growing food again after flooding from last year's violent cyclones wiped out crops and livestock. The damage was worst in seven southern and central provinces, where about 25 percent of the planted crop was lost, or 6 percent of the national total.
While farmers wait for flood waters to fully recede, the FAO project, which is funded by the Italian Government, is helping them to grow subsistence crops. "We are distributing almost 3 500 tonnes of seeds and 400 000 hand tools to over 100 000 farming families," explains Bruno Musti, FAO Emergency Team Leader. An association of NGOs is helping to distribute these farming kits quickly and efficiently.
In the village of Mapulango, 30 kilometres from the capital, Maputo, Alberto and Joana Matiné are planting a small vegetable garden beside their house. "Without these seeds I don't know what we would have done," says Joana Matiné, "at least now we'll have something to eat." The Matiné's fields are still under water, but as soon as the ground is ready, they hope to use the remaining maize, bean and vegetable seeds to plant income-producing crops.
The seed kits will give Mozambique farmers materials for the short planting season, which begins in March or April and provides approximately 25 percent of the year's total yield. If all goes well, they will then be in a good position to fully recover their food production capacity during the main planting season, which starts in late September to early October.
Another FAO project is assisting fishers whose gear was lost or damaged because of the cyclones. "This project will help fishers to increase production both for the local market and also maybe for export," says Laurentina Cossa, an expert of the Mozambique Ministry of Fisheries. Assistance includes repairs to damaged boats, credit schemes to purchase new boats and the free distribution of canoes and basic fishing gear to subsistence fishers. Shipyards throughout the country are currently building a total of 270 boats which should be ready by March.
MOZAMBIQUE / 2000 Appeal (Revised)
International Appeal of the Government of Mozambique for emergency relief and rehabilitation in collaboration with the United Nations Agencies
Government of Mozambique / FAO Agricultural Relief Component
Amount: US$13 000 000
NOTE: This appeal supersedes the ones issued for US$2.5 million in February and US$13.2 million in March.
In February this year, the UN launched the first Emergency Appeal for assistance to the flood affected communities in Mozambique.
Subsequent to further flooding, the Government of Mozambique in collaboration with the United Nations organizations launched, on 22 March 2000, an Updated International Appeal for Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation for a total of US$160 million. As the food and agriculture sectors were among the most affected by the floods, FAO participated in both Appeals with needs assessments related to agriculture and food production.
As the flood water receded by the end of March/early April, FAO fielded a mission to re-assess the requirements of the agricultural sector. As a result of this mission, FAO's original estimates of needs, amounting to US$13.2 million as issued in the Appeal, was revised and slightly reduced to a total of US$13 million.
FAO's revised project profiles of the UN Appeal aim to:
- rehabilitate the family sector agriculture of 87,000 flood-affected families in the provinces of Manica, Maputo, Inhambane, Cabo Delgado, Gaza and Sofala for a total of US$10.17 million.
- support the rehabilitation of the horticulture family sector of 4,000 flood-affected families in the provinces of Zambezia, Nampula and Maputo for a total of US$487,000.
- rehabilitate the forestry and wildlife sector to support flood affected communities in southern Mozambique for a total of US$153,000.
- replace the fishing gear and equipment of 5,850 artisanal fishermen in order to restore fishing production for a total of US$2.19 million.
So far FAO has had some positive response to the Appeal to assist affected farmers and has since the onset of the flooding been involved in coordination of interventions to the agricultural sector and technical advice. The needs for seeds and other agricultural inputs for the short planting season (March to July) was fairly well covered. However, the challenge now is to address the needs of the affected communities for the main planting season (late September/early October), in order to enable them to recover their food production capacity.
Should you wish to contribute to a project (total or partial costs), a project document can be made available.
Revised appeal for Mozambique:
Rehabilitate the family sector agriculture of 87,000 flood-affected families in the provinces of Manica, Maputo, Inhambane, Cabo Delgado, Gaza and Sofala - US$10 170 000
Support the rehabilitation of the horticulture family sector of 4,000 flood-affected families in the provinces of Zambezia, Nampula and Maputo - US$487 000
Rehabilitate the forestry and wildlife sector to support flood affected communities in southern Mozambique - US$153 000
Replace the fishing gear and equipment of 5,850 artisanal fishermen in order to restore fishing production - US$2 190 000
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For further information, please contact
Ms. Anne M. Bauer (E-mail: Anne.Bauer@fao.org)
Chief, FAO Special Relief Operations Service (TCOR).