Despite the economic expansion of recent years, Mozambique continues to occupy low positions in the Human Development Index, ranking 180th out of a total of 188 countries (UNDP, 2017). The province of Zambezia is one of the poorest in the country: 2016 World Bank data estimates that 70% of its population is below the poverty line and that half of the country’s poor (48%) are resident in the province, together with that of Nampula. In recent years, Zambezia has particularly suffered the consequences of climate change, to which are added unsustainable and poorly efficient livestock and agriculture practices, which contribute to the degradation of the already fragile territory. To worsen the situation was added the tropical cyclone, which hit Mozambique in March 2019 with frightening winds and torrential rain, causing hundreds of victims and a great deal of damage.
The project aims at the sustainable rural development of the Zambezia Province, improving the food security and nutritional situation of the vulnerable communities of Maquival through the strengthening of agriculture and livestock. The approach used is that of circular agriculture, which aims to reduce garbage and waste resulting from agricultural production, breeding and irrigation as much as possible, reusing and enhancing waste products. Thanks to the project, farmers will be able not to depend on a single food source and will be able to diversify their diet. Furthermore, thanks to increased agricultural production, irrigation interventions and the construction of a warehouse for the conservation of products, they will be able to increase their income. Finally, the increase in farming activities will also favor a nutritional improvement thanks to a greater intake of proteins, the deficiency of which remains one of the most serious problems of malnutrition.
4,769 between farmers, breeders and families
- Improvement of agricultural production
To improve agricultural production both in quantitative and qualitative terms, 15 training modules will be organized with the creation of demonstration fields in each of the six communities involved in the project. The topics will range from soil conservation to water management, reuse of waste, association of various species in the same territory, cultivation of plants with high nutritional value and how to increase one’s income with crops of high economic value. Tools and seeds will be purchased and distributed, creating a nursery, a seed bank and an organic composting unit in each community. As for irrigation, rainwater collection systems and wells will be built, thanks to the collaboration with the University of Florence. Finally, a naturally ventilated warehouse will be built on land made available by the local authorities which will serve for the conservation of agricultural products away from rodents and other animals, allowing them to be sold even when prices rise. The warehouse will be guarded by a local management committee.
- Reduction in the rate of malnutrition
To increase the population’s protein intake, hens, ducks and pigs will be purchased and distributed and chicken coops and pigsties will be built in the various communities. Several training cycles will be organized, following which management committees of breeding activities will be set up, one for each community concerned.
- Promotion of the consumption of local and healthy food
The project staff will organize, for each community, training on how to improve their diet through a healthy and nutritious diet. Themed theatrical performances will also be organized, extremely effective in a context in which illiteracy is still very rooted. In addition, cooking demonstrations will be organized.
My name is Erica Beuzer. I graduated in Psychology at the University of Padua when passion for anthropology in Italy could only be expressed by picking a couple of subjects from different faculties. That’s how my dissertation led me to the first longed-for experience in the world, anthropology applied to cooperation in the field of […]