Maize is a staple food in many African countries. However, smallholder farmers maize yields continue to be low in many parts of Africa. Low yields adversely affect food security and nutrition. Many 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 adapt to climate change and 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 fertilizer are increasing their crop yields.
Bissolombe Macande, an agrodealers capacity strengthening beneficiary at Gonda administrative post in Chibabava district, runs an agrodealer shop called â€œMuimbo Comercialâ€, and he is looking at working with 9000 farmers in the first catchment phase before extending to other farmers. He said that after undergoing training to be able to take charge of the shop, he carried out field work, where he mobilized many producers. He said that one of the inputs that still encourages much admiration among farmers is fertilizer.
â€œFertilizers are products that were completely unknown to groups of farmers that I worked with. At first there was skepticism about their importance.â€™â€™ Subsequent field demonstrations conducted to date amply clarify the importance of using agricultural inputs including fertilizers. When I enlightened them about the use and importance of fertilizers, people started saying they were magical and that everyone needs to experiment and implement,â€ he said.
JoÃ£o Bissolombe said that the community of Gonda has begun to believe in the power of fertilizers. This despite the initial difficulty getting people to believe in the use of fertilizers 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 AFAP is an implementing agent specifically to increase private-sector participation and investment in ongoing and new initiatives. The FAR project’s main objective is to improve food security and resilience to climate change shocks smallholder farmer households. In total, to date, the project has benefitted more than 300 000 smallholder farmers.
African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP):Â AFAP has supported smallholder farmers and pastoralists to access improved inputs (seeds, fertilizer, 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