Niassa province in northeast Mozambique in particular has the ideal makings of a robust farming community but continues to struggle with low agricultural productivity among the small-scale farmers who depend on traditional farming methods and low-yield seed varieties.
These rural poor have little buffer against food insecurity.
In the town of Cobue in Niassa Province, horticultural production is changing dramatically for Mrs. Alice Chimutha and thirteen other women with the support of World Renew and our local partner there, the Diocese of Niassa.
“In the past we used to rely only on maize and cassava production for both selling and home consumption,” says Mrs. Chimuth, “and our supply wouldn’t last to the next agriculture season, making it difficult to feed our families or buy school supplies and uniforms for the children.”
Although they were blessed with arable land and water, and were willing to try horticulture on a large scale, the women didn’t have enough money to buy the seeds, fertilizers or pesticides they needed. Worse yet, collecting water at the river for irrigation was too risky because of the crocodile population there.
"Previously most of us only planted kale in a little garden at home,” she continues. “But with the support of World Renew and the Diocese of Niassa, we gathered ourselves and were able to start a garden on almost a full acre, where in addition to kale we now grow tomatoes, cabbages, onions, carrots, lettuce, and peppers. The project opened our eyes to crop diversification, alternative irrigation schemes in order to avoid the crocodiles, and organic agriculture inputs, such as organic pesticides and composting with manure, which all reduced the cost of production.”
Mrs. Chimutha goes on. “Now, with the agripreneurship and crop cycles training that we received, we can better market and expand our business, as well as increase the land we cultivate from that one acre to two and a half, producing a minimum average income of US$200 per month plus enough yield for family consumption. Personally, with the money I am making, I can also actively participate in our village savings and loan association, pay for my daughter's school and contribute to the building our family home." Her face breaks into a broad smile. Wouldn’t yours?
World Renew Mozambique