Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi warned today of a “significant impact” of the El Niño phenomenon on agriculture in the country, asking farmers to be prepared for the effects, as part of the launch of the 2023/2024 agricultural campaign.
“We must be prepared for eventualities arising from the El Niño phenomenon, which influences the climate, causing adverse weather phenomena,” said the head of state in Inhambane, southern Mozambique, during the launch of the 2023/2024 agricultural campaign.
According to Filipe Nyusi, the meteorological phenomenon could cause a shortage of rain in southern and central Mozambique, “with a significant impact on agriculture”.
The Mozambican meteorological services warned in June that the country should prepare for drought in the central and southern regions, along with above-normal rainfall in the north with the formation of the natural phenomenon El Niño.
Bernardino Nhantumbo, a climatologist at the National Meteorological Institute (Inam), told Lusa that Mozambique was hit hard by El Niño between 2018 and 2019, followed by the La Niña period, with inverse conditions, which caused above-normal rainfall throughout the country.
On the occasion, the President of Mozambique also said that the country achieved an overall production volume of around 388 billion meticais (five billion euros) in the 2022/2023 agricultural year, with an increase expected for the 2023/2024 period.
“This growth was driven by the growth of maize, which reached 2.8 million tonnes, and rice, which reached 256,000 tonnes,” said Nyusi.
Mozambique is considered one of the countries most severely affected by climate change in the world, facing cyclical floods and tropical cyclones during the rainy season, which runs from October to April.
The 2018/2019 rainy season was one of the most severe on record in Mozambique: 714 people died, including 648 victims of cyclones Idai and Kenneth, two of the biggest ever to hit the country.
In the first quarter of this year, heavy rains and Cyclone Freddy caused 306 deaths, affected more than 1.3 million people in the country, destroyed 236,000 homes and 3,200 classrooms, according to official government figures.