The Feed the Future programme (Promoting Innovative and Resilient Agricultural Market Systems in the Nacala Corridor (FTF Premier) now has 25.5 million dollars available to finance agro-processors in seven districts in the provinces of Nampula, Niassa and Zambézia, central and northern Mozambique.
Applications and other details have been due since 26 December in the city of Nampula, and the deadline for submission is 08 February.
The initiative, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will be implemented over five years in the districts of Nampula, Malema, Nacala and Meconta, Nampula province, Cuamba (Niassa) and Gurúè and Alto Molócuè, (Zambézia).
The value chains of interest in this project are maize, soya, groundnuts, common beans, cowpeas, cashews, sesame, cassava and poultry.
Marc Steen, head of FTF Premier, says that implementing the programme could create and improve 110,000 jobs, mainly for women and young people.
The maximum investment for each enterprise is 250,000 dollars and the minimum is 25,000, depending on their size.
“The aim is to increase the resilience of agricultural market systems in the Nacala Corridor to absorb, adapt and respond to external climatic, economic and political shocks, reduce poverty and improve food security,” he said.
In support of the invitation, Steen said that “FTF Premier” intends, through this funding opportunity, to leverage the agro-processing sector and improve the living conditions of small farmers through companies, promoting inclusive business models that add value for the processor as well as for small farmers and thus increase their incomes.
“Invite food processors, aggregators, exporters, food distributors and other relevant actors in the agricultural value chain who work with maize, soya, sesame, beans, cowpeas, cassava, cashews, peanuts and poultry, who carry out a certain type of processing with interest or who already apply inclusive supply models, as well as inclusive marketing models such as producing packaging in small sizes to make them more accessible to consumers with low purchasing power, contributing to their food and nutritional security,” he added.
As well as capitalising on opportunities, FTP Premier expects agro-processing companies to present proposals that contribute to generating income and employment for women and young people.
“Among other things, there are advantages in creating jobs for women and young people, increasing the utilisation of processing capacity, replacing imports of quality and nutritious foodstuffs in the Nacala Corridor and the availability of fortified and aflatoxin-free foods,” he listed.
Data to which AIM had access shows that, in general, a small percentage of agricultural production in the Nacala Corridor is actually processed locally.
Only two of the eight products eligible for this initiative stand out: cashew and maize, the latter of which accounts for the largest number of processors, especially small and medium-sized ones.
The concentration of processing in the Nacala Corridor compared to other regions of Mozambique differs between the value chains: while Nampula province is the main processing centre for the country’s cashew industry, maize and soya processing is concentrated in the south, mainly processing imported products.