A version of this story first appeared on swisscontact.org.
“We have learnt good agricultural practices and in turn increased our agricultural outputs thanks to the FAR Programme. Even after the catastrophic damage caused by Cyclone Ídai, we have been able to use the income from our expanding yields to improve our lives, rebuild our homes, afford school fees for our children, and buy chairs among other gains,” said Marta Josseias during a visit by the Secretary of State of Sofala Province, Stela Zeca, to the agricultural fields. Josseias is one of the horticultural producers attached to Kubatana Agricultural Association.
The association consists of members from the Guara Guara Locality, District of Búzi, Sofala Province and has been working in partnership with the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) since 2018 through the FAR programme. The visit saw some of the horticultural producers highlight some of the results they had achieved within the past two years of working with IFDC.
“We learnt so much from IFDC and have achieved good production since 2019. Our partnership has seen us benefit from certain agricultural inputs like a drip irrigation system and seeds. These were impossible goals for us to achieve on our own. Today, we remain confident that even if the project has to end, we already have the basic apparatus and know-how to continue with our activities successfully,” added Josseias.
“Our partnership has seen us benefit from certain agricultural inputs like a drip irrigation system and seeds.”Marta Josseias
The president of the Kubatana Association, Paulo Josseias, said that it was through the assistance of IFDC that his production advanced: “The drip irrigation system they introduced us to works well with our solar panels. We have increased our production and now harvest our yields at least twice a year. Our outputs created a lot of interest in the community and helped increase our membership. To date, we have created twelve farmer groups and have four facilitators to support them.”
“The market for our agricultural produce remains a huge challenge we have to tackle. We are looking to expand our distribution throughout the District of Búzi in Beira city and hopefully, in Mambone region in Inhambane Province,” commented Josseias.
Stela Zeca welcomed the initiative to introduce the drip irrigation system that works through the solar panel and challenged the District Service of Economic Activities in Búzi to strategize on ideas that could capitalize significant investments through the Central Government so that the production from Búzi is commercialized in the other provinces within the country.
The District of Búzi has faced several calamities in the recent past, including drought and inundations. The FAR programme introduced the production of vegetables to fill in the food security gap experienced by a majority of the population due to unpredictable climatic changes. IFDC is one of the six implementing organizations working with the FAR Programme to strengthen the position of farmers in the value chains while providing technical assistance where needed.