The National African Farmers Union (Nafu) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Federation of Agrarian Associations of Mozambique (Fenagri). The MOU is aimed at improving agricultural collaboration between South Africa and the East African country.
The president of Nafu in Mpumalanga, Jabu Mahlangu, said they recently visited Mozambique to engage with the leadership of Fenagri.
“The collaboration agreement between Nafu and Fenagri is meant to improve the collaborative environment in, and between the two agrarian communities in the respective countries,” Mahlangu told Food For Mzansi.
“The priority areas of our agreement intend to focus on farmer development focusing on agribusinesses, livestock, forestry, pisciculture, infrastructure, transportation, and policy.”
The MOU happened hot on the heels of the African Union Summit hosted under the theme “The year of African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA): acceleration of the African continental free trade area implementation”.
Potential of collaboration
Mahlangu said the collaboration aids efforts to better align themselves with the AfCTA.
In 2022, South Africa exported dairy products, eggs, honey, and edible products worth $56.41 million to Mozambique, according to tradingeconomics.com. On the import front, South Africa imported products like edible fruits, nuts, peels of citrus fruit, and melons worth $58.40 million from Mozambique.
Through collaboration, both parties hope to increase agricultural trade among each other, potentially increasing market access opportunities for local producers.
‘We want to give farmers business’
Vicky Mhlanga, a poultry farmer in Ludlow, Mpumalanga commended the collaboration initiative, as it is an opportunity for farmers like herself to explore export markets.
“We applaud all who were involved. It is a step in the right direction for farmers and sectors that will be involved. We want to hear about these initiatives, exposure and opportunity of expanding.”
Meanwhile, the president of Fenagri, Herman Mussanhane said they were hoping for investment into Mozambique’s agricultural landscape. He said they were ready to assist interested farmers in South Africa with legal and logistical requirements.
“We want us to collaborate in unleashing digital technology in the farming space in both countries. We want to facilitate the import and export of key goods between the two countries. Importantly, see how best to address the blockage of fresh produce products on South African borders.”
According to Mussanhane, fresh food trucks make use of the same truck lines that trucks carrying non-agricultural cargo do. This easily results in hundreds of trucks lining up at the borders daily.
“And sometimes the waiting period can be up to five days affecting the quality of produce,” Mussanhane said.
Food for Mzansi