Starting from March 1, 2019, a series of tropical rains fell in the province of Zambezia, compromising the agricultural production of the entire territory. The rains were then joined by the tropical cyclone Idai which hit the coasts of the country on March 14, causing at least 800 victims. In the province of Zambezia, strong winds and torrential rains caused numerous rivers to overflow, forcing local populations to move away from their homes to reach safer places, such as schools and warehouses. Furthermore, in the days before the cyclone, there had already been many damages suffered by homes and crops.
Many villages were affected in Zambezia and many communities remained isolated, in particular in the districts of Morrumbala, Maganja da Costa and in the two districts where Mani Tese operates, Nicoadala and Namacurra. In the Nicoadala district, the flooding of the Rio Licuar and its main tributaries wiped out houses, schools and cultivated fields. According to what was reported by the provincial government, the production of corn, cassava and sweet potato (mainly produced in these districts), the basis of food for the populations in rural areas, would have been insufficient to cover the needs of the province. Added to this was the inflation of foodstuffs, in particular the increase in the price of corn flour and rice, which put the entire country’s food security at serious risk.
Distretto di Quelimane
Distretto di Nicoadala
Distretto di Namacurra
Distretto di Mocubela
Distretto di Morrumbala
The project had the goal of purchasing and distributing seeds for 400 families for the second agricultural campaign (from April to July) to make up for the lack of production of the first period (from November to April).
400 families residing in the most affected districts, about 2,400 people
Thanks to the project “Starting up sowing” we were able to purchase:
- 107 kg of green bean seeds;
- 15 kg of vegetables (such as tomatoes, onions, carrots, pumpkins, peppers, aubergines, cucumbers, cabbage) some of which have been transplanted with the help of our technicians;
- 2400 kg of short cycle corn, which is able to produce satisfactory quantities despite the delay in sowing.
In the first two weeks of May 2019 the seeds were purchased and distributed to the INGC (Mozambican National Institute for Disaster Management), the Provincial Directorate of Agriculture of the Province and the SDAE (District Services for Agriculture and economic) of two districts, Quelimane and Mocubela. The seeds were then distributed in the communities with the support of our technicians and our local partner, the UPC-Z (Provincial Union of Zambezia Farmers), which has hundreds of members throughout the province of Zambezia.
Over 300 producers were able to have a second chance of production which, in the period of drought, translates into food security and a small source of income, necessary for the basic needs of families.
We bought towels to dry cassava and sweet potato, which were also used for cereals including rice, corn (the little that survived the rains and floods) and sesame, a high-yield crop that we contributed to spread.
Two sesame and cassava drying systems were built in two communities, one in the Nicoadala district and another in the Quelimane district.
In the three districts where Mani Tese is present with the “Rural Quelimane” project, district training has also been carried out with the members of UPC-Z to promote and disseminate more rational and effective techniques for the conservation of cassava. Traditionally, in fact, cassava was chopped into coarse fragments and left to dry in makeshift sheets or directly in the soil. However, given the high humidity of the earth and air, cassava did not keep for a long time, rotting and fermenting, with consequent health risks for consumers. During our training, we have produced cassava flours that dry more quickly when grated, soaked, filtered and then dried, and which can be stored for months very easily. The finished product can be used for tapioca but also for the preparation of xima, polenta traditionally used through a mixture with corn flour, essential for the nutrition of local populations.
My name is Giulia Donnici, and it all started here. I was still a university student when, in 2006, I arrived in Mani Tese as an intern. It was my first experience in international cooperation and I immediately thought it was the most beautiful and interesting job in the world. Thanks to the internship, I got close and passionate to the topic of corporate social […]