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Italy Finances Agricultural Projects in Manica and Cabo Delgado

Italy Finances Agricultural Projects in Manica and Cabo Delgado

The Italian government will disburse around four million euros for the implementation of a project aimed at boosting agricultural activity over the next three years in the provinces of Manica and Cabo Delgado, the northern and central regions of Mozambique respectively.

Financed by the Government of the Republic of Italy through the Italian Cooperation Agency and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Agency (UNIDO), the project falls within the mandate of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Entitled the Project to Improve the Inclusive and Sustainable Development of Agricultural Value Chains (Mais Valor II), it also aims to support the government’s efforts to structurally transform the development of the agro-industry sector and value chains in Manica and Cabo Delgado.

To this end, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIC) and UNIDO, the organisation implementing the project.

The agreement allows for the exchange of information and coordination in carrying out joint monitoring activities in the implementation of the project’s activities.

Speaking after the signing of the memorandum, the permanent secretary of the MIC, Jorge Jairoce, said that the project will focus on the production of fruit and vegetables in Manica and coffee in Cabo Delgado.

“This project will focus on promoting the added value of agricultural products and improving the performance of the agro-processing of fruit and vegetables, coffee and cereals,” he said

Asked if the insurgency would make the programme unviable, Jairoce said that on the contrary, it would help the local population.

“You have to understand that not all of Cabo Delgado province is in a critical military situation, we think this project will help stabilise the economic and social situation of the people who live there,” he argued.

“There is enormous potential on Ibo Island (Cabo Delgado) from the point of view of natural conditions for coffee production and this has to be maximised, obviously the level of production will be accompanied by security measures that are being implemented throughout the province,” he explained.

He emphasised that the military situation was not an impediment to implementing the project.

For his part, UNIDO’s representative in Mozambique, Jaime Muniz, said he hoped the programme would contribute to boosting agro-processing in the country.

“We hope that with the formalisation of the Mais Valor II programme, we can contribute to agro-processing and the training of small and medium-sized companies in the area of fruit and vegetables and coffee, and find creative ways to strengthen youth employment opportunities,” he said.

The first phase of the Mais Valor programme, “Mais Valor I”, was under the tutelage of the Ministry of Agriculture and was focused on coffee growing in Cabo Delgado, especially on Ibo Island. Because of the current situation in the country, it was extended to fruit and vegetables and coffee in Manica province with the “Mais Valor II” programme, all financed by Italy.

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