WASHINGTON, June 29, 2018 — The World Bank approved today an International Development Association (IDA)* grant of $55 million in support of the Government of Mozambique’s Smallholder Irrigated Agriculture and Market Access Project that aims to improve rural livelihoods through increased productivity, production, and access to markets.
Mozambique’s agriculture productivity levels are lower than the average of comparable countries in Southern Africa, and only about 2.5 percent of the country’s cultivated land is irrigated. This project will specifically target four provinces of Manica, Nampula, Sofala, and Zambezia; all of which endowed with significant agricultural potential, including availability of water, and high levels of poverty. The project expects to directly benefit 9,000 smallholder farmers from poor households.
“We have expanded our investments in agriculture and related sectors in the past few years in Mozambique. I believe this new investment and others such as in rural infrastructure, landscape management, among others will ultimately result in an economy that is more inclusive, broad-based, and sustainable,” said Mark Lundell, World Bank Country Director for Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Comoros.
This project will improve productivity, production, crop intensity, and market access for 9,000 farmers operating in a total area of 6,000 hectares of irrigated land; of which 3,000 hectares are new areas. Additionally, “the project will invest in capacity building for farmers on improved agricultural practices, technologies, inputs and marketing, functional literacy, nutrition, and irrigation infrastructure management to ensure long-term sustainability of the investments,” said Aniceto Bila, Senior Agriculture Specialist for the World Bank. The project will also include capacity building for government staff and skills development programs for service providers, including NGOs involved in the provision of agriculture services.
This operation is consistent with the World Bank Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity through access to infrastructure and services. It is in line with the World Bank Country Partnership Framework 2017-2021 for Mozambique and supports the government’s priorities as set forth in its Five-Year Plan, Plano Quinquenal do Governo.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 75 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.5 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 54 percent going to Africa.