The US Government on 19 April announced the launch of two programmes to improve Mozambican farmers’ ability to respond to and recover from climate shocks and stresses. These will be funded through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
According to a press release from the US Embassy, the two-year programmes will be run in coordination with local and provincial government authorities and “improve agricultural productivity, diversify economic opportunities, and strengthen early warning and action systems in disaster-affected, climate-stressed communities of Gaza Province”. The programmes “emphasise women and young farmers, two groups who often have less access to agricultural resources and services”.
One programme, the Farmer Resilience and Rebuilding Initiative, will support 4,400 smallholder farmers in Gaza’s Chokwe and Guija districts “by running field schools for farmers with a curriculum tailored to local context, and creating a network of rural entrepreneurs that advise farmers on topics ranging from business management to the use of water-smart technologies”. In addition, said the release, “the training stresses the importance of how shared responsibilities and decision-making between women and men can increase incomes”.
The second programme, Promoting Resilience through the Empowerment of Women Initiative, implemented by the NGO Save the Children, provides training to farmers in sustainable production practices that enrich the soil, protect crops, and improve the quality and quantity of yields. The programme also supports village-based savings and loan groups to increase smallholder farmers’ access to financing”. In addition, said the release, the programme works with district officials and community leaders to develop early action plans that protect crops, fields, and livestock before disasters hit. These activities will benefit approximately 75 communities in Gaza province, reaching more than 54,000 Mozambicans.
According to USAID Mozambique Mission Director Helen Pataki, “by helping build skills, diversify economic opportunities, and increase access to resources, these programmes allow farmers and their communities to not only recover from lean periods but also improve yields and prepare for the future”.
USAID will provide US$5.5 million for these two programmes over the next two years.