Agriculture is the mainstay of the Mozambican economy, mobilising more than 80% of the economically active population and making a significant contribution to the Gross Domestic Product – around a quarter of Mozambique’s. Agriculture plays a crucial role in generating income and employment, especially in rural areas.
Agricultural activity plays a crucial role in generating income and employment, especially in rural areas. It is estimated that there are approximately 36 million hectares of arable land. However, only 10% of this area is actually used for agriculture.
Mozambique has favourable conditions for a variety of crops. However, in order for the sector to play a strategic role in the country’s development, a number of challenges need to be overcome. These include: the impacts of climate change, the need to improve infrastructure to transport production, access to markets, access to agricultural finance, technical training and modernisation of production. It is important to emphasise that subsistence farming is common in Mozambique, with approximately 3.2 million small farmers, responsible for around 95% of agricultural production.
The Mozambican government has been dedicated to promoting agricultural development, including the implementation of measures and programmes to increase productivity and guarantee food security in the country. In addition, areas such as investment in irrigation projects and support for small farmers have been prioritised with the aim of boosting the sector. Mozambique’s geographical and climatic diversity offers favourable conditions for various products, such as coffee, which is highly valued on the international market as a cash crop.
“The quality of the coffee produced in Mozambique has been a focus of attention, with efforts to improve cultivation and processing practices in order to compete on the global market”
Demand for coffee has increased, especially with the growth of consumption in Asia. For Mozambique, coffee can play a fundamental role in enhancing national agriculture and improving the lives of thousands of peasants. The coffee production projects in Gorongosa National Park, in Sofala province, and Chimanimani National Park, in Manica province, are two examples of organic and sustainable coffee production projects that have enabled the country to recently become a member of the World Coffee Organisation.
Agriculture as a whole contributed more than $560 million in revenue to the country in 2022. Looking at Uganda, one of the countries in Africa that stands out in the production and commercialisation of coffee, the export of this product in the last 12 months will have brought in close to $850 million in revenue.
It is estimated that its global consumption will grow by around seven billion dollars in 2023 alone, continuing on an upward trend over the next few years.
In Mozambique, there are two main varieties of coffee: “Arabica” and “Robusta”. Arabica” coffee is known for its mild flavour and delicate aroma. It is considered high quality and is grown in the provinces of Nampula and Niassa. On the other hand, “Robusta” coffee is known for its strong, bitter flavour and is grown in Cabo Delgado and Nampula.
The quality of the coffee produced in Mozambique has been the focus of attention, with efforts to improve cultivation and processing practices in order to compete in the high quality global market. Mozambique can capitalise on the economic advantages of this dynamic and constantly growing sector, attracting foreign direct investment, generating export revenues and creating jobs.