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USAID helps Mozambique farmers prepare for droughts

Thirty years ago, families in Mozambique’s village of Nhantumbi could rely on regular rainfall to cultivate their crops and feed their families. Since then, unpredictable rains, deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices have caused a steep decline in productivity in Nhantumbi and neighboring villages.

The 2015/2016 El Niño exacerbated the situation, bringing the worst drought the area had seen in three decades. Facing total crop failure, households were forced to look elsewhere for food. Many migrated closer to the Zambian border to find work.

To help those affected, USAID partnered with World Vision International, the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the U.N. World Food Program to provide emergency food and nutrition assistance in the hardest hit communities throughout Mozambique. 

As part of this process, USAID helped the communities establish a collective group farming program and, in conjunction with the local government of the district, supported technical training for the farmers and the building of a water catchment along the Nhantumbi River.

The positive results appeared quickly: In its first harvest, the farming collective reaped 6,500 kilograms of maize to be used for food and as seeds for future planting. The catchment also is helping families start small-scale vegetable farms.

“I am so delighted for the training and for this catchment built in my village,” says Daudo. “I am now able to grow vegetables like lettuce and tomatoes, and that will boost my family’s food consumption and health.”

Overall, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) contributed approximately $28 million in emergency food assistance to Mozambique in fiscal years 2016-2017. 

Publication date: 9/20/2017


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