03 June 2021 – One of the causes of low maize yields is lack of access to agricultural inputs. In Chibabava, Sofala Province in Central Mozambique that is about to change for the better as farmers with the availability of fertiliser are increasing their crop yields.
Maize is a staple food for most people in Africa. However, smallholder farmers’ maize yields are low in many parts of Africa. Low yields adversely affect food security and nutrition.
Governments are concerned with the low performance of subsistence farmers. One of the causes of low maize yields is lack of access to agricultural inputs.
An additional emerging threat is climate change which is forcing farmers to use resilient agricultural inputs. In Chibabava, Sofala Province in Central Mozambique, that is about to change for the better as farmers with the availability of fertiliser are increasing their crop yields.
Bissolombe Macande, an agrodealers capacity strengthening beneficiary at Gonda administrative post in Chibabava district, runs an agrodealer shop called “Muimbo Comercial”, and he is looking at working with 9000 farmers in the first catchment phase before extending to other farmers.
He says that after undergoing training to be able to take charge of the shop, he carried out field work, where he mobilised many producers. According to Macande, fertilser enjoys much admiration among the local farmers.
“Fertilizers are products that were completely unknown to groups of farmers that I worked with. At first there was scepticism about their importance,’’ says Macande.
Subsequent field demonstrations conducted to date amply clarify the importance of using agricultural inputs including fertilisers.
“When I enlightened them about the use and importance of fertilisers, people started saying they were magical and that everyone needs to experiment and implement it,” Macande adds.
The community of Gonda has begun to believe in the power of fertilisers. This despite the initial difficulty getting people to believe in the use of fertilisers because they were unaware of their importance in the production process.
Bissolombe Macande is one of the Food security, climate Adaptation and Resilience in Central Mozambique (FAR Sofala Project) beneficiaries in the development of sustainable input markets project in Mozambique and the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) is an implementing agent with a focus to increase private-sector participation and investment in ongoing and new initiatives.
The FAR project’s main objective is to improve food security and nurture resilience amongst smallholder farmers. To date, the project has benefitted more than 300 000 smallholder farmers.
AFAP supports smallholder farmers and pastoralists to access improved inputs (seeds, fertiliser, crop protection products and animal-health products) and technologies for increased agricultural and livestock production as well as output markets for surplus production. The objective is to improve food security and smallholder farmers’ incomes by facilitating agricultural development in Mozambique. This is being achieved by adopting improved production technologies and effective output marketing to identify market opportunities. AFAP’s interventions through a market-systems approach aim to make inputs accessible and affordable.
The article was first published by the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP):
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