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Agriculture in Mozambique

In 2002 agriculture accounted for approximately 23 % of the GDP in Mozambique (Aquastat 2010). The agricultural sector accounts for 80 % of employment in the country with 60 % of it being female. Although Mozambique has made significant gains in self-sufficiency in food grain production since the end of the civil war in 1992, the growth has been uneven due to recurring floods and droughts. In 2007 the Agricultural Inquiry of the Ministry of Agriculture estimated the number of livestock in all of Mozambique at 2.6 million, with 400,000 being cattle (LBPTC 2010).

According to the 2009 World Development Indicators, 87 % of annual freshwater withdrawals in Mozambique are for agriculture (World Bank 2010). Comparatively, demand within the Limpopo River basin is slightly higher with approximately 95 % of the basin demand in Mozambique from irrigation, as noted in Water Use and Allocation (LBPTC 2010).

Subsistence agriculture is practiced by almost all of the families within the districts of the Limpopo River basin in Mozambique (LBPTC 2010). Within the basin, crop production dominates with low yielding local varieties (i.e. maize, peanuts, cassava and caupi). The district of Chokwé, in the southern sub-catchment of the Lower Limpopo and Changane, has most medium to large scale agriculture production due to the major irrigation systems within this district. Within the Mandlakazi and Chibuto districts (in the Changane sub-catchment) incomes are predominantly generated from fruit crops. However, in almost all districts within the Limpopo River basin, income is typically generated from non-agricultural activities such as wood, charcoal, cane, and firewood sales.

Although livestock production has good potential in most districts within the Limpopo River basin, it has not been fully exploited partly due to the lack of infrastructure and financial resources (LBPTC 2010). Despite this, livestock has increased steadily from 2000 to 2004 in an effort from the private sector.

Large scale agriculture in Chokwé, Mozambique.
Source: Qwist-Hoffmann 2010
( click to enlarge )