Mozambique right to food under discussionDec 16, 2013
Subsistence agriculture should generate income for farmers, and guarantee their economic growth, declared Mozambique’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Antonio Limbau, on Saturday.
We are talking about a transition from subsistence to commercial agriculture”, he said, at the opening of a meeting to discuss a government bill on agriculture and food and nutritional security. “That small household which is currently producing just for itself, should also produce a surplus for sale so that it can meet other household needs”.
But there must also be technological interventions, by the producers themselves, to guarantee that the transition can really happen, Limbau stressed. It would then be possible “to improve food security in terms of the availability of and access to produce”.
“The target is that we should have food for all the Mozambican population all the time, good quality food”, he added, “and that we should also be able to cover part of the needs of the region and of elsewhere”.
For Limbau, the meeting will allow interaction between the various stakeholders in the production chain, creating conditions for the involvement of all producers, from the smallest to the largest.
“The country still faces challenges, particularly child malnutrition, which most concerns us”, he said. He believed the government bill will be an important instrument for reducing malnutrition and hunger.
For his part, the representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Matthias Naab, said the programme for the meeting expresses the interest of the Mozambican parliament in passing legislation adequate for the development of agriculture and food security.
“This legislation on the right to food is an important basis for guaranteeing that every man, woman and child has access to nutrition and health, and higher standards of human development”, said Naab.
The two day meeting involved members of the Mozambican parliament, the Assembly of the Republic, and representatives of civil society organizations.