University orf Florida
Food in Africa
MOZAMBlQUE: A COUNTRY STUDY
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This paper presents a series oft topics on the country of
Mozambiqu~e. These chapters have been prepared by a group of 10
students in a Food in Alfrica course. By cover-ing a wide range of:
topics and emphasizing their r-elation to food? we hope to get an
overall grasp of the food situation in Mozambique.
Mozambican geography? climate and soils, and nat ural
r-esources are examined to show Mozambique's physical potential.
Other- s ect io ns on s o ciod em og r-aph icrs, history, economics
agricultural product ion, marketing and d is t ri buit ion and food
policies present the management of Mozambican resort ces.
Finally, resources and management are examined in order to dr-aw
conclusions on the future of the Mozambican food situation.
POLITICAL AND PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY OF MOZAMBIQUE
In order to understand why Mozambique occupies its present
location, one needs to review some of the history of the region.
Mozambique has many large rivers creating excellent natural
harbors which were used extensively by Arab traders over 1,b000
years ago. Ports were established at present-day Maputo,- Beira,
Mopambique, Sofala, etc. (see figure 1). The Portugese
expeditions under Vasco de Gama discovered these ports in the
15th century and quickly displaced the Arabs there, using the
harbors as footholds for spice trading activities to the east
(Herrick et al, 1969). The Portugese sailed up the Zambezi river
in search of gold, and established forts at Tete and Sena in the
mid-1500's. However, lack of resources and a lowland climate
deemed "unhealthy" for Europeans discouraged further exploration,
and the Portugese generally remained on the coast through the
The British expedition under Livingstone in the 1850's
passed through Portugese territory and scathingly criticized
Portugese administration of the area and the condition of the
forts at Tete and Sena (Isaacman, 1983). This piqued British
interest in the area and aroused Portugese nationalism. In 1877,
a Portugese expedition under Serpa Pinto traversed the width of
Africa from Luanda to Quelimane. This led to the creation of a
"rose-colored map" of South Africa (see figure 2) in which the
Portugese claimed a wide swath of territory including present-day
Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique. The British,
attempting to build a Cape to Cairo empire, challenged the
Portugese claims, stating Portugal had no effective control of
The Berlin conference of 1884 settled Mozambique's borders
with German Tanganyika (now Tanzania) and South Africa, but the
conflict with the British remained. Throughout the 1880's
Britain and Portugal vied for alliances with various African
chiefs, and in 1889 fighting broke out along the Shire river
valley between Serpa Pinto and British forces. The Portugese
government was overthrown in 1890 after they indicated they were
ready to accept a British ultimatum on the territorial issue.
Finally, an 1891 treaty settled Mozambique's western border.
Great Britain claimed much of the Manica highlands (now Zimbabwe)
and the Shire river valley (now Malawi) that it considered more
productive land, while granting Portugal the Zambezi river valley
now part of Tete province (see figure 1). This Tete "tongue of
territory" is the last remnant of Portugal's attempt at a trans-
African empire (Boateng, 1978).
Unfortunately, the European border delineations did not
conform to African ethnic boundaries. Mozambican tribes that
extend to other countries include the Thonga (Zimbabwe), Shona
(Zimbabwe), Yao (Tanzania) and Malawi (Malawi). This
insensitivity to cultural and ethnic divisions in colonial times
has continued to haunt African countries today in their search
for national unity (Herrick et al, 1969).
Mozambique covers 308,000 square miles, about twice the size
of California (see figure 1). The most unique and important
aspects of Mozambican geography are its coastal and latitudinal
lengths. Mozambique's coastline is 1,737 miles long, and
possesses excellent fishing opportunities. The fishing industry
is a major component of Mozambique's economy as a growing export
sector. Furthermore, Mozambique's coastal position has enabled
it to become a railway middleman for land-locked South African
countries. Zambia, Malawi, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and South Africa
all transport goods across Mozambican railways (Amanor, 1991).
Mozambique extends from 11-270 S latitude over 1,220 miles.
Latitude is the major determinant of climate in the tropics, and
thus Mozambique exhibits a wide variety of climates from
rainforest in the north to semi-arid in the south. This permits
a wide variety of crops to be produced with varying water
requirements. Rice, cassava, sorghum, cotton, tea, cashew,
coconut and oil palm are all produced. This would not be
possible if Mozambique were positioned horizontally in a shape
similar to The Gambia.
Forty percent of Mozambique's topography is coastal plains
which widen in the south, with highlands to the west. Livestock
production is constrained by tse-tse fly except for a dry rain-
shadow area in Gaza province. The many major rivers of
Mozambique (see figure 3) provide excellent hydroelectric and
irrigation potential. The Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi in
Tete province has created a 250 km. lake, while the Limpopo, Save
and Revue are all being exploited. One disadvantage of the
rivers has been hindrance of transportation due to a lack of
adequate bridges. Finally, the lakes of Chiota, Chirua and Nyasa
along the Malawi border have been described as "unexploited"
(Herrick et al, 1969) but Lake Nyasa was used by FRELIMO rebels
to gain entry from Tanzania during the war of independence from
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B Nollnned conrrol
0 50 100 150 200 Miles
0 50 100 150n 20 Kilometers
Amanor, K.S. 1991. "Economy of Mozambique." In: Africa
South of the Sahara. 1991. Europa Publishers Limited. pp. 722-
Boateng, E.A. 1978. A Political Geography of Africa.
Cambridge University Press. Cambridge. 292 pp.
Herrick, A.B. et al. 1969. Area Handbook for Mozambique.
American University. Washington, D.C. 351 pp.
Isaacman, A. and B. Isaacman. 1983. Mozambique: From
Colonialism to Revolution, 1900 1982. Westview Press.
Boulder, CO. 235 pp.
The latest census held in Mozambique in 1988 yielded a
population of 14,548,400 people. With an annual growth rate of
2.6%, the population of Mozambique could double in 87 years.
"Given the relatively high rate of natural growth, a
substantial proportion of the population in 1988 -- 44.31 percent
was under 15 years of age. Also, 42.74 percent was between 15
and 44 years of age, and 10.39 percent between 45 and 64 years of
age." (Nelson 80)
"Since the population between 15 and 64 years of age is
commonly reckoned to constitute a country's labor pool; the
segment under 15 and above 65 construed as the dependent~
population. In ttzambique 53 percent of the population made up
the labor pool in 1980; 46.9 percent constituted the dependent
segment (Nelson 80)
Across all the different age groups there ;as slightly mor-e
female than ma leJ in Mo zamb ique .
All ages (8-1-88)
But the urban population reflects the opposite in that there is
more male in the cities than females.
Male 805,176 14.2
Female 733r943 12.2
The population of nmozambique is spread acr-oss the country
The most densely populated area is the city of Maputo (about
1,672.4 people per square Kilometer.) The less dense area bjein~g
the province of Niassa (about 4.7 people per square kilometer.)
Mozambique is divided into 11 provinces
Cabo Delgado 1,109,921
City of Maputo 1,006,765
Maputo province 544,692
During the colonization time Portuguese officials and
ethnogr-aphers had divided the people of Mozambique into 10 ethnic
groups based on their common language, culture and history
The demographic yearbook listed 13 different languages
spoken by the people of Mozambique. "Language difference have
been used as indicators of ethnic differences, and commnonal i t of
language has been a sign of other cultural commonalities,
although not necessarily of actual or potential ethnic cohesioni.
Broadly, the link between linguistic and cultural similarity
holds in Mozambique, but there are a few cases in which a complex
history of movement and mixture had led to breaks in the linkage,
ie some groups speaking dialects of the same language al-e
otherwise different and perceive themselves as such (Nelson 84).
Population by language and sex: each census, 1977-188
Mozambique Both sexes Male Female
Nyanja 385 ,875 180,403 2?5 ,472
Nyunwe 262,455 126,009 136,446
Phimbi 14,058 6,192 7,866
Portuguese 143,108 75,636 67,472
Ronga 423,797 202,215 221,582
Sena 1,087,262 529,221 558,041
Shona 759,930 372,170 387,760
Swahili 6,103 3,618 2,485
Swazi 10,548 5,022 5,526
Tsonga 1,444,187 692,682 751,505
Tswa 696,212 336,167 360,045
Yao 194,107 90,310 103,79?
Zulu 8,003 3,538 4,465
Unknown 116,632 57,909 58,723
The different ethnic groups of Mozambique are located as
follows In the north of the Zambezi the main ethnic group ar-e
the Makua-Lomwe. They belong to the cultural division of Centr-al
Bantu, and they form 40 percent of the population. Thyare
Muslim, and they live in the provinces of ZamDbezia, Nampula,
Niass3a, and Cabo Delgado. The second important ethnic gr-oupj
the Y/ao or (Aj aua ) is also composed of muslimsr and they liv
the Niassa prov since Ano their e th nic gr-oup are the Makonde,
and they live on either side of the Rovuma border. The Ny~an j a
and Chewa live around lake Niassa and in the Tete province.
The Swah ili -speak i n peop le reside of the coast of Cabo Delgado
p ro vi n ce. The Chopi l ive on the Coast of the I nhamb ane
province. Finally, the Shona group are in7 the north of th-e
Thonga area, (Pelissier 717)
"Ethnic heterogeneity does not necessarily imply ethnic
conflict. Both before and since the Mozambican independence:
there has been a good deal of assertion and counter assertion
concerning ethnic relations. Historically, armed conflict
between groups of different language and culture was not
uncommon. However, inter-ethnic hostility was not particularly
deepseated, long-lasting or inclusive of entire people in the
era." (Nelson 96-97)
As of the problem of refugees it seems that 1 million of
Moza'bican refugees live in the neighboring countries with over
600,000 in Malawi alone. The refugees are fleeing one of the
most vicious guerrilla groups in the world--the Mozambican
National Resistance Movement, better known by it~s portuguese
acronym Renamo. The refugees must avoid the bandits of Rename,
but also the soldiers loyal to the Freelimo movement. Ther-efore,
when fleeing south the refugees have the choice between an~ eight
mile long electric fence or walk for four days through the Kruger
game park and face lions, elephd'ts, and armed game r-angers. Few
make it to south Africa and those who do are often returned at a
rate of 1000 to 2000 per month. (Battersby 10)
- 'je-lwee~ t Sawad' CC.7labor poo I ->) 53.~ \
SUnder I5 and over 64 :olepewent po I-> 46 9 %
o u~ltacoi ay ~, St;<
( ;m~o raphic yer Dec i
SI year old
Harold D. Nel1son Mo zamb ique : A Country Study. Forig I-ea
Studies, The American University, April 1984.
Rene Pt41issier. "Mozambique." Africa South of the Sah~araa 1991
England, Europa Pubishers Ltd.
Un cited N~a ti ons 1990 Demoqraphic Yearbook: New Yor-k: Uni tedj
Nations Publishing Division.
John Batter sby "The Chr istilan Sc ience Moni tor ." Wh i thout a
Country 19 Feb 1991: 10-11.
Political History of Mo~zambique
Lisa R. Perry
The histories of Sub-Sahara Africa usually begin with the discoveryy of the
region by the European powers. Not very much is known about the
precolonial history of the area, yet Mozatmbique, like most of sub-Saharan
Africa, was occupied long before the arrival of the European colonialist.
Through recent interest in the precolonial history of the area research and
archaeological evidence have shed some light on this period. The term
precolonial refers to the period in any given area before there was any
significant contact between the African people and the Europeans, this Is the
Portuguese in the case of Mozambique.
Mozambique is divided laterally into three regions the North, the Zambezi
River basin and the South each is historically different from the other.
Each region's history has been marked by the migrations of Bantu-speaking
peoples. This appears to be the major unifying factor in Mozambique s
history during the precolonial period. They have no other known factors in
common these regions histories are in fact more closely shared with those of'
neighboring countries than they are with one another (Rinehart, 1984!.
Bushimanoid hunters and gatherers, ancestors of the Khoisani peoples, were
probably the earliest inhabitants of the area now known as Mozambique
until the- arrival of the first wave of Bantu-speaking peoples. It is thought
that the Bantu migrations actually started some time before the fourth
century A.D. These small nomadic bands were eventually displaced o~r
absorbed by the steady migrations of the ironworking Bantu speakers. Their
sedentary agricultural communities took root in the area over the next.
several hundred years. Migrants and invaders continued to enter the area,
conquering the inhabitants, flourishing for awhile and then in turn becoming
the conquered when a new group entered the area.
The Mwene Mutapa empire is one of the better known kingdoms because of
the extensive Portuguese documentation. It followed the same cycle as the
others apparently. Most of these kingdoms seem to have had a number of
things in common such as dependence on the ruler s personality for
direction, succession disputes, rebellious provinces, and a desire for trade
with ocean-going merchants.
Political History of Mozambique
Lisa R. Perry
W~hen the Mwene M1utapa empire broke up in the region south of Zambezi, a
series of three principal Malawi K~ingdoms make their appearance north of
the Zambezi. Each kingdom underwent phases of military expansion.
commercial consolidation and political disintegration. These kingdoms were
dominant from the sixteenth to the early eighteenth centuries. They grew
out of the small groups of Malawi peoples who migrated into the region to
the south of Lake Malawi. Because of this cycle, the Portuguese were not
met by cohesive states bent on unified resistance but by a group of' badly
fragmented kingdoms in various degrees of decline. Some of them were
even eager for a European alliance to help against hostile neighbors. So it is
little wonder that even with meager resources the Portuguese were able to
gain a toehold in Mozambique (Rinehart, 1984).
Before the colonial period Arab traders had established a toehold on the
coast of Mozambique. Medieval Arab documents indicate that Muslim
traders had set up outposts on the East African coast as early as the eighth
century A.D.. These outposts stretched from Somalia to Sofala In
Mozambique. They became links in an extensive Arab trade network. Over
time a distinctive Islamic culture developed in the coastal region because of
contacts and intermarriage between the Muslims and the African population
(Rinehart, 1984). In fact many think that Mozambique's name may hav~e
come from one Musa at Bique, a sheikh on what became Mhiozambique Island
(Rinehart, 1984; Henriksen, 1978).
Vasco de Gama was the first known Portuguese explorer to have contact with
the Southeast African shore. The navigator landed on the coast in 1498
during his first trip to India. By 1507 the Portuguese occupied the 11ha de
M/acambique. This became the headquarters for their East African
operations. By 1510 they controlled the trade of' every major port from
Sofala to Mogadishu (Rinehart, 1984). The Portuguese presence was pretty
much confined to the coastal areas for almost 5 centuries. Mliozambique was
originally part of the Portuguese State of India and under the jurisdiction of
the viceroy at Goa. In the beginning the Portuguese treated this area more
like a business then like the traditional colonial empire (Henriksen, 1978 ).
Political Hiistory of Mozambique
Lisa R. Perrs
A part African, part Portuguese hybrid institution arose from the chaotic
environment created during the decline of the Mwene Mutapa empire.
Called the Prazos da Coroja or Crown Estate it developed as a way for the
Portuguese government to gain some control over Mozambique with a
minimum of investment. It was a system both African and Portuguese and
over the generations it became more and more African until the estate
owners clashed with Portuguese government themselves. The Prazo system
originated during the Roman empire. The estate owner actually leased the
land, usually for 3 generations, from the crown. This allowed the lessee a
certain amount of freedom and the time to encourage the development of
the land while the crown kept actual ownership of the land and hopefully
some control (Henriksen, 1978).
The Prazos had a tendency to drain resources but produced only what was
necessary for their own needs and they had a generally depressing long
term effect on the economy. In the long run the Prazo system was also at
failure as far as the Portuguese crown was concerned. It had not lived up to
its original purpose, as a mechanism allowing the Portuguese to control the
interior of Mozambique without having to use its own resources. Worse the
crown had no real way to control the Prazos because they controlled thie only
real military forces in Mozambique. Increasingly Africanized, they started to
compete with Portuguese interests in the area (Henriksen, 1978). The
Portuguese tried to reassert control over the Prazos through a paper war of
rules and regulations, but this failed. This system lingered on through the
19th century until the modern colonial period. The Ngoni migrations and the
Zambezi wars finally accomplished what the Portuguese crown could not do
and ended the Prazo domination in Mozambique.
The Ngoni migrations, between the 18201's and the 1850's, where set off by
the conquests of Shaka, the Zulu leader of a confederacy that dominated
southern Africa. His domination created a large displaced population as
defeated tribes tried to escape to Southern Mozambique and Zimbabwe
The Zambezi wars grew out of the expansionist drive of: the Pereira chiefs in
1840. These wars pulled Portugals forces into the area and eventually led to
Political History of M~ozambique
Lisa R. Perry
the defeat of the Prazo s at the hands of Portuguese colonial forces. Some.
such as Professor T.0. Ranger, feel that towards the end of the Zambezi wars
some of the participants evidenced an incipient African unity beyond narrow
ethno-nationalism, a wider unity against Portuguese sovereignty !Henriksen,
Once the Prazo system was destroyed the Portuguese resorted to another
way to develop the land and resources at a minimum of cost to themselves:
The Chartered Companies. Of the three chartered companies only one was
profitable, the Zambezia Company. Chartered in 1892 this company held the
concession in the present-day Tete and Zambezia provinces.
Less profitable but more notorious were the Mozambiqlue Company and the
Nyassa Company. The Mozambique Company's charter covered present day
Manica and Sofala provinces. The Nyassa Company controlled the territory
of northern-most Mozambique. Both of these companies had very damaging
labor policies. Forced labor and high taxes where used to get the labor they
needed. The Nyassa Company even resorted to withholding food and
crucifixions to force the populations to fill its work demands (Rinehart, 1984;
Henriksen, 1978). Because of these policies the companies not only did not
further Mozambique's development but actually retarded it.
Ajlt the beginning of the modern colonial period the Berlin Conference of
1884 was held to divide up Africa among the European powers. Portugal
was left with less colonial territory then she had wanted. Portugal originally
wanted territory stretching from the east to the west coast, a continuous
swath from Mozambique to Angola. British designs for territory stretching
from the Cape to Cairo ended this dream.
The mistreatment and apathy Portugal had towards its African. colonies led
to at least 16 revolts between 1890 and 1905. To consolidate control over
her colonies Portugal reorganized the colonial system in 1907. This system
remained intact until Independence was achieved in 1975. After Antonio de
Olvieira Salazer's coup in 1926 the government further tightened Lisbon s
control over the colonies by removing the discretionary powers that had
been exercised by colonial powers. For the first time priority was given to
Political History of Mlozambique
Lisa R. Perry
colonial develop ment. Salazer s government encouraged emigration t
Mozambique, broke up special interest groups such as the chartered
companies and forbade the use of forced labor by private persons o~r
enterprises (Henriksen, 1978; Rinehart, 1984). Beginning in 19)27, Africans
who had become "'civilized" by Portuguese standards including being able to
speak Portuguese, accepting Portuguese values and standards and earning
incomes from commerce or industry were defined as assimilados. They were
freed from the restrictions placed on the rest of the African populations now
defined as indigenas (Kurian, 1987). Later the definition of assimilados was
redefined so that most Africans could not qualify.
Because of internal and external opposition Portugal made a number of
cosmetic changes in its colonial administration of Mozambique in the 1950's
and 1960's. For example in 1951 Mozambique became an overseas province;
in 1955 the Organic Law gave African areas their own local councils: forced
cultivation of commercial crops was ended and the legal distinction between
assimilados and the indigenas was abolished (Kurian, 1987). All of this was
too late. The end of the colonial period was in sight for Mozambique.
Given the extent of repression in Mozambique it is not surprising that by the
early 1960's nationalistic movements had already started forming. By June
1962 three of the most active movements MANU, UDENAMIO and UNAMVI -
merged into one group, the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frente
de Libertacao de Mozambique) better know as FRELIM0. Its president was
Eduardo Chinamber Mondlane. For the next 15 years a bloody war took
place as FRELIMO tried to break away and Portugal engaged in an of ten
brutal, wasteful and ultimately futile struggle to hold on to her colonies
(K~urian, 1987). In April of 1974, in part due to pressure from the war, in
Mozambique, there was a coup in Portugal. Seeing her chance FRELIMO
leadership demanded full independence for Mozambique and the transfer of
power to itself. It faced no real challenge to its demands and a transitional
government with Joaquium Chissano (one of FRELIMO's cofounders) was set
up in September of 1974. Mozambique achieved full independence in June
of 1975 and Samora Machel (FRELIMO's president after the death of
Mondlane from a letter bomb in 1969) became president (Young, 1990).
Mozambique's original constitution drafted and approved by FRELIMO Us
Political Historyi of ML~ozambique
Lisa R. Perry
Central Committee in 1975 was designed to establish a socialist Mozambique.
FRELIMO transformed itself into a Marsist-Leninist vanguard party (Kurian.
Mozambique is one party state in which FRELIMO is constitutionally
empowered to guide the operations of government at all levels. The election
process is pyramidal, the direct popular election of local assemblies is
followed by indirect selection of district, provincial and national assembles.
The chief executive appoints the president of the Supreme People s Court.
The governors of the country's ten provinces are appointed by the president,
who may void the decisions of provincial, district and local assembles (Bank<.
1989). All iegal counsel is provided by the state since the private practice of
law was abolished in 1975. The highest court of the land is the
Revolutionary Military Tribunal and its death sentences are not subject to
appeal (Kurian. 1987). With independence FRELIM/O realized it had to face
serious economic and development problems. The importance of` agriculture
was acknowledged but at the Third Party Congress in 1977 growth of the
industrial sector was tapped as the important factor in the country's
economic growth. Just acknowledging the problems did not solve them.
Agricultural and industrial production dropped about 50% in the first three
years after independence. Severe food shortages occurred in many parts of
the country causing hunger. The government blamed Mozambique's
problems on the disruption caused by the war for independence, sabotage
caused by the flight of white Portuguese settlers from the country and the
disruption caused by the conflict with southern Rhodesia which eventually
led to the formation of RENAMO (Rinehart, 1984).
By 1978 several opposition groups to FRELIIMO had merged to become
RENAMO IfResistencia Nacional Mlocambicana, also known as Movimento
Nacional da Resiste~ncia de Mocambsique (MNR). RENA1MO was formed during
the undeclared war from 1976j to 1979 between Mozambique and lan
Smith's white-minority government in Rhodesia. It was established by the
Rhodesian government intelligence organization to disrupt the government
of Mozambique for aiding exiled Rhodesian nationalists who advocated the
overthrow of Smith's government (Kurian, 1987). RENAMO has developed
into a wide spread anti-FRELIM\O insurgency. It is made up mainly of
Political HistoryJ of Mvozambique
Lisa R. Perryr
mercenaries, FRELIM~rO defectors and recruits from some of the Shona-
speaking ethnic groups. RENAMO operates mainly in rural areas. it has
compromised transportation and food production. RENAMO has been widely
condemned for its alleged campaign of terror which includes indiscriminate
killing, mutilation and dislocation of people. Because of this reputation it has
failed to gain internal popular support or the recognization it seeks from the
WV~est as a "legitimate" anticommunist movement (Banks, 1989)1.
Mozambique is still a country at war. It is under siege from the guerrilla
organization RENAMO. After the collapse of the white-minority regime in
Rhodesia RENAMO did not disappear. It found new life as South Africa s
proxy in the region. Infused with substantial amounts of aid, RENAMO
became an agent of economic devastation. The disruption was specifically
aimed at Mozambique's transportation infrastructure (Y'oung, 1990; K~urian.
1987). Zimbabwe (formally Rhodesia) sent troops to help Mozambique guard
the oil pipeline which runs from Mutare in Zimbabwe to Beira.
Having to pour resources into the conflict with South African, RENAMO took
its toll on Mozambique. Finally, facing a perilous economic situation, drought
and the resulting deaths from starvation, she started negotiations with South
Africa. These talks led to the Nkamati accord, a non-aggression treaty in
which both sides agreed not to help the opposition movements in each
other's countries. Mozambique was to stop the African National Congress
(ANC) from operating from its territory and South Africa would not give
anymore support to RENAMO. South Africa however appeared to ignore the
accord. RENAMO operations continued and by 1984 it was believed that
they were active in all 10 of Mozambique's provinces:
Finally Mozambique felt compelled to warn the South African government in
1984 that the accord was in danger. South A4frica responded to the warning
by calling a series of talks which culminated in the 'Pretoria Declaration'
which called for a cease fire between RENAMO and FRELIM0. The cease-fire
never materialized because RENAMO withdrew from the negotiations citing
the FRELIMO government's refusal to recognize RENAMO's legitimacy. The
rebels stepped up their campaign and Mozambique accused South Africa of
still supporting them. South Africa denied this but in 1985 Mlozambique
Political History of ;Mozambique
Lisa R. Perry
found proof of South African involvement when they captured the largest.
RENAMO base, the so called 'Casa Banana'.
Things deteriorated further with the sudden death of President Samnora
Machel in 1986. In October the Soviet plane bringing the President back
from a. meeting, in Zambia, of leaders of the 'Front-Line States', crashed. To
make matters worse the crash occurred just inside South African territory.
Then in November South Africa claimed it had found documents in the
wreckage that implicated Mozambique and Zimbabwe in a plot to overthrow
the Malawi government. Both countries denied this but President K~aunda of
Zambia is reported to have confirmed it.
Chissano became Mozambique's new president. His government, after
intense pressure, got Malawi to sign a non-aggression treaty. In April of
1987, it was confirmed that Malawian troops were helping Mozambique to
guard the railway line running from Malawi to Mozambique from sabotage
by RENAMO (Young, 1990; Kurian, 1987).
An open raid by South African security forces on a supposed ANC base in
Maputo effectively ended the Nkamati Accord. In late 1987 and early 1988
the two countries held still another round of talks to try and defuse the
situation. Finally they agreed, in May, to try to revive the Nkamati Accord
and in September of 1988 President Chissano met with P.W. Botha. This led
to both countries establishing a joint commission for co-operation and
develop ment. In July President Chissano announced that he accepted that
South Africa was no longer supporting RENAMO (Young, 1990). This did not
led to RENAMO's demise, however, and the government continued to launch
peace initiatives. Finally in July of 1990 the first ever direct contact
between the government and RENAMO took place in Rome. A second round
of talks took place in August but RENAMO guerrilla attacks continued
throughout all of this. One reason RENAMO is able to cause such disruption is
because the Mozambican army is so ill-eqluipped and malnourished that it is
of ten unable to hold even well-defended positions (Young, 1990 ).
Until recently Mozambique was a one party Marlist-Leninist state controlled
.by FRELIMO. FRELIMO was the only legal party. FRELIMO is directed by a
Political History of Mtozambique
Lisa R. Perry
Central Committee, a Political Bureau and a Secretariat. Recently party
economic philosophy shifted towards the encouragement of' free market
activity. They have also shifted the agricultural emphasis away from state
farms to private and family farms. All of the media are under state control.
In 1976 the only trade union, MIozambique Federation of Trade Unions
(MFTU), was established and it is, of course, linked to FRELIMO (Cook, 1983).
FRELIMO present political leader is Joaquim Alberto Chissano (Bank~s, 1989:
Even though FRELIMO has been the only recognized party, as mentioned
before opposition does exist. The largest and most active opposition group is
obviously RENAMO but a few other groups do exist. Three small FRELIMO
splinter groups currently acting with RENAMO are the Mozambique
Revolutionary Committee, the Mozambique National Independent Committee
and the Kenyan-based Democratic Party for The Liberation of Mozambique
In 1985 former Portuguese colonists evidently reactivated the African
National Union of Rombezia. This organization was allegedly formed by the
Portuguese secret police in the 1960's to push for an independent state in
Northern Mozambique (Banks, 1989).
Since Mozambique was originally Marxist in orientatipn the FRELIMO
government has received quite a bit of aid from the Soviet Union, Cuba, East
German and other communist line states. How recent events, including the
reunification of Germany, effect this remains to be seen. She has however
increased links with the West since 1979. Great Britain and Brazil have
extended credit. Relations with Portugal were reestablished in 1982. They
also reestablished relations with the United States in 1983 after a troubled
period (Banks, 1989; Young 1990).
Mozambique's relationship with South Africa is on-going and very complex
as seen earlier in this paper. Her problems with RENAMO pretty well color
all of her relationships in the region. Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Malawi all
have had troops in the region to help Mozambique against the rebel attacks
Political H~istory of Mozambique
Lisa R. Perry
of RENAMO iBanks, 1989). Obviously this is a drain on the resources of not
just Mozambique but of the other countries in the region as well.
Mozambique is a founding member of the SA\DCC. SADCC is an organization
set up to help the so called Front-Line States reduce their dependence on
South Africa. Mozambique is in the paradoxical position of maintaining
economic relations with South Africa as a matter of "realistic policy" (Bank~s.
1989). In 1984 Mozambique was admitted to the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund. Many feel this shows a desire on her part to
become more active in the world economy (Banks, I989).
The economic policies pursued by the Portuguese crown during the colonial
period tended to impede development in Mozambique. They had neglected
domestic development and done nothing to utilize the mineral resources of
Mozambique. Nothing was done to set up the infrastructure needed to create
and support a relatively self-sufficient economic system capable of taking
care of a growing population.
The conflicts with Rhodesia, South Africa and RENAMO have exacerbated the
problems created during the colonial period. Resources needed elsewhere to
help develop the proper infrastructure have had to be poured into military
plans to defend the government against these incursions. One serious
example of the effects of the security situation on the economy has been the
exacerbation of a serious famine. By 1989 it was reported to be threatening
at least 4.5 million people with starvation. The famine, itself, was caused by
poor rains coupled with the conflict in productive areas causing the larrge-
scale displacement of families from these areas. The problem is made worse
by RENAMO's hindrance of aid. By 1989 it was reported that Mozambique
had more then 1 million refugees. 600,000 of them are in nearby Malawi
Llsa R., Perry
Banks, Arthur S., Thomas C. Muller, Sean M. Phelan, Elaine Tillman and Edwin
H. Rutkowski. ed s. 1989. Po7l~liths~/Ha;~d ndhol Of the World'3 j.989~ Pp.
413-415. New York: CSA Publications.
Cook, Chris and David Kiillingray. 1983.A/ca oltc/csSce94
London: The MacMillan Press Ltd.
Hastings, Adrian. 1974. Wkrejsmu ;tiu: ~ AO*L /ATMztibique, Maryknoll:
Henriksen, Thomas, H. 1978. M 5oirambiut e A //MrcEv London: Rex Collings
Kurian, George T. 1987. En~cycloped7 of the T"hkid World! 3rd ed. Pp. 1394-
1396. New York: Facts on File, Inc.
Young, Thomas. 1990. Recent History. In A/rks S~outh o the Sahara:r~ 1991.
Europa Publications. Pp. 718-722. London: Europa Publications
JrENN!~FER TAT L11
Their mocst recent fluures for the Gros Ntational Prod,(uct rGN-Pli of, Mozamribique: wrel. for
19:87. The national GNP wais $2.123 American mniion,~ translaritin into 5146 per person ilWiorldi
Resources. 1990)`. Table 1 sows the originl o the GD)P. Althiough the datia is t'~rom 1970j-1981. ii
!e still rtpre~sentanve of Mozambique3.
ORIGIN OF GDP (1t970- 1981i)
1 AGE..JLTUPE UF
7 O~~ TRADE &~ F 1rrl:nE '25 4
a 4 ., TRAN SPORTATION. & OMUNCTINS 3
PUB l~lLiC u o^.'.ca" ~ '"1 ,Sf'
SOURCE: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Enyloei ofteThr old 97
More ecentfigurs (187) sow tht th pe~rSTcn:tage o h D rmagiutr s5%
Industry~~~~ contribute 12%.F services 38% and mining,! 0.5% (Aaor.: 190ad ol
Resouces. 990).Sixtysix prcentof th labor l foci~i;;s epoe narclue huhti
incrase to80-0% n sabl agrculura ties.Eigtee rcnt wrk n idusry.and16%wor
~thZIErei Ea carccdity of kiled labor d theref has be olpeofterrltaspr n aktn
systems (Amaniror. 1990 andi iurianr, 1987'r.
Mfozambiq~ue tends to focus more on producing crops for etxport instead of co~ncetntrsaingr on
beiLngf food-subsl~ris;tet. Table 2 i;hows t~he. most popular impor3tsad ~UCexpor)ts.
~4 I~raC~ Ir Ilr.--iv e~ r~ r.!~oiora -ji:'i
~ CLE~--~li ~i!~FCtj:
EB PETP0LEUM 1
SOU~RCE: 'The1 Woirld in Figures. 1987.
In 198r5. Mlozambtique spent $48S7 million on imports, while only recetivintg $86~ million in
tretumr for their exuports. Thi~s resulted in a balance of trade of $4011 million dollars. High trad~e
deict~its are occurring because expo~rt costs are covering approxsimately 12%~ of t~he import icsts.
Exporti vol)umeis have beetn decreasing because of guesrilla sab~otage: ud ai m~ultitude oif weathe:ir
pyroblemrs. Foxi examp~ley thei 1981-1984J dfrought and the flo~ods and cyvclonecs of' 198l dcrecasedd
alrricultural prodcuctionl 70-80%~. Mozamb~ique was wanted foiod aid assistance of 227.000( tonls inl
1983 ( Am~anor, 19Yi0. Hait 1987. and K~urian. 198)71.
L u`trrent~ly- Mo'-7anrambue is under strain o~f severe bal a~nce-of-paymePntt l problems, h 98
The national deli~icit was $359 million. Th~is was due in part to the great amountr of money~ spent on!
dlefense. 40%!~~- ot' th 1989 budget, the drastic decline of tourism and higrh trade deficits. In 1990.,
Mo~zambique had more than $4003r million in repayments and arrears. A plan calling for the
rescheduling of debts until Dekcembrr 1988 was signed in June: of 1987 (Amanor, 1990).
Miozamblyue as a rec~ipient of foreign aid has been increasing its demands. Foodl aid in
cereals 15 to 20 years ago was 58. 000 metric tons. This aid has increased to 466,000 metric tonls in
1989.i Thle average annual Officlial Development A~issisrtanc (ODA): between 19801 anld 1982 was
$174t million, an~d has8 increased to $45S7 million during the years 1985S-1987. In 1987. the O3DA
per capital was $45L~. In 19)86. drought and rebel activity led to a famine affeicting more than fourw
million people. In February of 1987, the United Nations declared that assistance was needed for the
coutmry, and in M1arch. 1987, international donors increased their aid pledgs. With continuing
problems of dlrought, floods and pests, such as locusts, in Mlay, 1988, the Unitzed Nations sent out
anolthel2 r ~appa for $38j0 mlillionr worth of aid. In 1990-1991. the Miozamtbique government
reqruested ai further $136i million inl emergency aid (Amlranor. 1990. Social Indicators of
De-velopme nt. 1989~ and Wtorld Resources. 1990)~.
in .lanuairy, 1987. the go~vertnmnt stratrtd anl _E~conomic Rec~overy ProgramrT (ERP)! tor 1987-
1~990. SuppoBrted by the IMF.1~ te p~rogram's goal was to increase economic e~ffciency. and reduce
internal andc ex~change defic~its. Dontors inctreased their aid to 5700r million in 198X7. Under t~he
ERP, Lfthere was a p!lamed reduction of the budget ei~C~iit: from 50%~ expenditure: in 1986t to 25'% in
1987i. The plan also called for an increased income tax, deregulation of several government-
cointrolledl prices, stimrulation of thle privatec sector ~in indlustry~ andc ariculture, and a stimuulation of
expoarts. Th institution of the E~RP led to, thec devaluation of the medical. Mlozambique's faxul of
currency. from US$1--40 meticazis to ULSS1=20 mewticais in JTanuary 1989Y. and to U;S$1-400
meticair in] .june 1989i. Subsequenlt drvailuationsr~z lowered the exchange rate to U;S$1=742 meTticais in
July 1989. Currently (as of Mfarch 1990), US$1=902)3.7 meticais. In April of 1988. the second
phase of the ERP was instituted. This called for drastic price increases, for example, the price of
maize rose 300%7 and the price olf rice rose 600%.~ To offset these higher prices, the government
;clso;-id:c:le foir an inicr~as ~in the minimum w~age (Ama~snor, 1990)1.
Mozuambique is having a difificult time: eclonomically. The high debt is hindering the
matiitrf'ry abS~ijbry tor rro on artermthd t agrr~cj~S01SiCicutraT~L. prductionT and tsj ab~ijlity to~ d2al with
dicsas2ters Possible sozlutions for the country would be to dcre~case the amount: of' miiwlitr spendingZ
and~ to wo~rk on closing Ithe gap between knports andt exports. Wth the~- aid ot f the Econ~omic~
Rcovery Program. perhaps Mozambiqu wcill be able to get on its feet economrically.
Amanoar, Kojo, S. 1990. Economy IN Africa South of the Sahara 199;1. Europa
K~urian,n George Thtomas. 1987. Encyclopedia of the Third Wlorld. Facts on File:
Social indicatorss of Development. 1989. World Bank: Baltimore.
The Wo~rldf in Figur~es. 1987. G.K. Hall and' Co~pany: Massachusetts.
W~orltd Regsources 19930-1991. 1990. World Riesources institute: New York.
Cl imate and Soils of Mozam~bique
Many factors influence the climatic pattern of an area. "Exposure to
sunlight, warm Mozambique current, seasonal winds and rainfall and topography"
are among the factors that help shape Mozambique's weather (me'nQutW 196. Climat e,
along with relief, time, vegetation, ~and animal life, is one of the major
components of soil (Popenoe 1986). The character of the soil then determines the
ecosystems and therefore the potential for agricultural production.
The climate is subtropical in the south and tropical in the north and center
of the country, with alternating wet and dry seasons. The rainy season begins
in October and runs through April, with the dry season being from May to
September. Favorable agricultural conditions persist as a result of the southern
summer monsoon and the warm Agulhus current that ensure at least one meter of
rain annually throughout the country. However, it is important to note that
periodic drought does occur with shifts in rainfall (Van Chi-Bonnardel 1973).
Rainfall range fran 200 1800 mm annually, generally decreasing as you go
inland. Figure 1 shows the annual rainfall in millimeters for ~Mozambique.
Approximately eighty percent of the rains fall during the wet season. In some
areas, such as the Namuli highlands, the rainfall may exceed 2,000 mm, while in
the southwest, there are arid zones where less than 400 mm fall (Kaplan 1984).
Temperature is relatively constant, 18C 27C, throughout the year and
through much of the country with a mean annual temperature of 23.5C (iueaqpi 19ri).
During the wet season, monthly averages range fran 26.7C 29.4C, and during the
dry season, fron 18.3C 20C (Pelissier 1991). Humidity follows the temperature
pattern, especially during the wet season. The warm Mozambique current flows
Figure 1: Annual Rainfall Pattern of Mozambique. From Mozambiaue:
A Country Study, 1984.
south and brings higher temperature and humidity to the coast except around
Maputo where the coastal temperatures remain cooler (Kaplan 1984).
It has been noted that drought is a dependable factor in ~Mozambiqure's
climate pattern. Recently, Mozambique has been plagued with a 10 year period
(1977 1987) where droughts were continuous, only to be interrupted wvith
damaging floods. While recovering from this 10 year period, an unanticipated
anticyclone (a high pressure system) moved into Mozambique from the Indian Ocean
during October 1989 (INM 1990). This anticyclone brought the rains before its
expected time in much of the country, and also proceeded to disrupt the normal
pattern of rainfall for the rest of the rainy season and therefore the planting
season. Figure 2 shows the normal months during which the rains begin. Dry
precipitation resulted in many areas. Figure 3 is an illustration of the
rainfall patterns fran October to Mlarch 1989.
"Forty percent of the surface of the country is lowland carpeted by
generally fertile alluvium..." (Van Chi-Bonnardel 1973). Savannah encompasses
the highlands, plateaux and mountains, while heavy rainforests are found with the
rivers and marshes and mangroves along the coast (Van Chi-Bonnardel 1973).
Littoral lowlands and marshes are found south of the Zambezi and Save rivers and
makeup about 44% of the country (:Kaplan 1977).
Figure 4 illustrates the fertility of the soils of Mozambiqu~e. From this
map it is evident that there is much potential for agricultural production. The
Tete region, with its heavy soils, and the northern highlands are especially
suited for growing a variety of crops (Mucavele and Pereira 1991). Pockets of
high fertili-ty land are found along the coast and rivers, but these pockets have
traditionally been farmed with causercial crops. North of the Revue River, the
Figure 2: This map illustrates the months during which rains
normally begin. These months also signify the start of
the planting season. Fran the National Institute of
Meterology, Maputo, 1990,
Dry. ~. -
7 ~Too Much RiainF-
Very Dry .,C
Too Much Raini
'igure 3: '"he actual pattern of rainfall from October to March
1989 Is illustrated In this series of maps. The effect
of the anticyclone is seen here. From the National
Institute of Meterology, Maputo, 1990.
soils are composed of red, reddish-brown clays with good permeability aind
dr ainage. Some sandy soils are found in small areas within the clays. South of
the Save River, the land is a composition of all different mixes of soils: (Buhr
1990). Agriculturally, there are many problems with this area. With the
movement of the waters from the oceans inland, there is high salinity in many
par ts of the south. Al so, wes tern-eas tern winds help create an
evapotranspiratory problem (~Mucavele and Pereira 1991).
Different levels of fertility as well as accessibility to agricultural
production due to topography is a food index of agricultural potential. Figure
5 highlights some of the major crops and the regions where they are cultivated.
As a point of interest, the minerals and precious materials of the country are
mapped in figure 6.
/ rery little ferti L ity.GE Sandy, sandy/red,
G ELe with decreased water retention.
2 ecreased fertility. Clay, red, deep, with
good permeability and drainage and decreased
susceptibility to erosion.
) 3 ecreased to intermediate fertility. Clay,
sandy, red, of variable stratum, withl
susceptibility to erosion.
S4 intermediate to good fertiLIty Cay r
5 Intrmediate to good fertility. Clay, sandy,
6 High fertili~~nv t yr. River soils, some excess salt
M Areas of shxed soils and therefore mixed
fertility in ast jf :ount~ry.
Figure 4: Soils map of Mozanbique showing fertility levels.
Adapted from Buhr, 1990.
Figure 5: Selected major crops and regions of their cultivation.
I~n should be noted that maize and cassava is grown
throughout the country. Informaition obtained by means
of an interview with Firemxino Mucavele and Maria J. Perica
M acemboa daPrata
Melu usi b t
Tr ~ TL
t eto \mI
YarruF1 MontePUez e
S.ore do lupopo
P I\Chugubo* Iniai eas s ine1(Y ol osII
: I \ i Fun a.louro* AL u...~. DL asrlonms Py -
Massinga r/ r *.*. Fe *@** S.L
i;:( Ym 'I*i ** -
ra e.... P Y
1~~~~ Magude .. s ft
.mosC~ was Manhion
Figure 6: Minerals map of Mozambisue. Frem Atlas de Mocambique, 1962.
Buhr, Kenneth L. 1990. Report of the Agricultural Situation and World Vision
International Activities in Tete and Zambezia Provinces of Mozambique.
INWM (National Institute of ~Metrology). 1990. INWM, Mraputo.
Kaplan, Irving. 1984. The Society and its Environment. In Mozambique: a Country
Study. Harold D. Nelson, ed. Pp 71-128. Foreign Area Studies The Amrrerican
Kaplan, et al. 1977. Area Handbook for Mozambique. Washington: United States
Government Printing Office.
Mucavele, Firemino. 1991. Board of Food Security SADCC. Interviewed for purposes
of this paper.
Pelissier, Rene. 1991. M2ozambique. Africa South of the Sahara. 20-th edition.
Pp717-737. Europa Publications Limited.
Pereira, Maria J. 1991. Agriculture Research Institute. Interviewed for thie
purposes of this paper.
Popenoe, Hugh. 1986. African Soils: Opportunity and Constraints. In Food in Sub-
saharan Africa. Eds, Art Hansen and Della E. Mvchiillan. Ppl69-176. Boulder:
Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc.
Van C~hi-Bonnardel, Regine. 1973. Atlas of Africa. Jeune Afrique.
A MACRO) VfIEW OF THE AGRICULTURAL sITUATION IN MDEAMBIQUE
by John Hartman
A major factor to consider when examining the agricultural
situation in Mosambique is its rapidly changing nature. Much of
what is presented in this section arises from pre-Fifth Congress
agricultural policies. Some of the fundamental aspects of the
agricultural situation have been slated for reassessment and
change. For example some sources have suggested the secretariats
assigned to cotton and cashews may be eliminated. The reader
should keep in mind the elasticity of the situation, and not take
the following report as an exact description of Mosambican
agriculture today, but rather as an attempt to highlight some of
the problems in the domain of Mozambican agriculture which have
contributed to overall food insecurity.
First, wre will examine the symptoms of the problem. Pood
production has remained static over the last ten years (see figure
1)., Regional production losses do to drought have occurred
throughout this period. NJotable decreases in production occurred
in 1983 and 1987. Cassava production, which has generally been
more staple than that of other staples, fell from 2,850,000 tons in
1982 to just 1,900,000 tons in 1983 (FAO, 1989). single year
decreases such as with Cassava in 1983 can be more easily
attributed to natural phenomena (i.e. cassava mealybug) than can
long steady declines in production of one crop while that of others
remains stable or increases. Declines similar to the later are
more likely explained by policy or market problems. Such is the
case with sorghum production. From a reported high of 230,000 tons
in 1977 sorghum production fell to an estimated 67,000 tons in 1987
while cassava stayed level or increased (writh the above mentioned
Though production of food crops has been stagnant, the
production of some cash crops has fallen precipitously (see figure
2). The production of sugar cane collapsed from a high of
2,100,000 tone in 1979 to 280,000 tons by 1985. Cashews have
undergone a similar although less dramatic decline. Both of these
commodities are extremely important to export earnings (see section
4). Cash crops make up 4 of the top 5 foreign exchange earners.
Livestock production estimates indicate that the livestock
sector has been stagnant for the last 10 years or more (see figure
3). Livestock and livestock products haves little impact on the
cash economy ,but are important to many farming systems (EIU,
1989). The relative importance of milk over meat as a protein
source should be noted (lactose intolerance not withstanding).
An overview of the production figures on Mozambican
agriculture is presented in figurea 4, 5, 6, and 7.
The FARMING SYSTEM:
***** The farming system of Mosambique is presented here in a
hierarchical manner for the sake of clarity and does not reflect
the authors attachment to trickle down management**+*
A flow chart (see figure 8) is shown here to illustrate the
pre-Fifth Congress organisation of the Mosambican agricultural
system. Solid lines indicate direct linkages. Dotted lines
indicate weak linkages. In general it would be des irabl e to
strengthen these weak linkages.
The Ministry of Agriculture oversees most government
interactions with the agricultural sector. The current head of the
Ministry is Alexandre Sandamela (Camb. Int. GR. 1990) The
Minister has direct links to the secretaries of State for
Agricultural Water Resources (Raui Pernando Mayor Gonzales), Cashews
(Alfredo Gamito), and Cotton (Castigo Joao Chivite) As was
previously noted the Fifth Congress is in the process ofl re-
evaluating the usefulness of these secretariat which are devoted
to cash crop production. However, under the policies of the Third
Congress major emphasis was placed on this sector bye the
government to the neglect of the small family farm sector.
The day to day functions of the Ministry are carried out
through its directorates. The Directorates of Agriculture, Rural
Development and Extension, and Agricultural Economics work at both
the national and provincial levels. At the provincial. level
Provincial Agricultural Officers provide local authority and
oversee the various directorate tunations including extension.
Most reports make note of failures in the extension arm of the
Ministry. The Centrao Boremacao Agrariar also works with extension
through the training of farmers and extension agents.
More formal agricultural education is the responsibility of
Eduardo Mondlane University. The University enrolls approximately
2,000 students. Of these 422 are enrolled in the school of
Agronomy and Forestry Engineering, and 250 are in the school of
Veterinary and Animal Sciences (Mucavele, personnel'
communications). fA'~L j;Cb--#:.7~i /
The responsibility for agricultural research rests with the
National Agricultural Research Institute (Instituto Nacional de
Ivestigacao Agronomica, INIA) Research into improvement of
varieties, pest control, and cultural and management practices
occur at the institute. Following the Fourth Congress research
emphasis was redirected toward the needs of the small family farm
sector (Joni, personnel communications). However, linkages between
the University extension service, and the research center are
weak (Bahr, personnel communicationss. Linkages between INIA and
CFA appear to be good.
Imports to the farming sector go through government importing
agencies (Pesticides INTPERQUIMICA, veterinary medicines MEDIMOC,
farm machinery INTERMEC~ANO, and seed and fertilizers through
Boror). Boror is responsible for the distribution of imported
agricultural inputs to the state, cooperative, and large private
farm sector. Boror is also responsible for running at least one
palm oil plantation. Private voluntary organizations (PvOls) and
Non Governmental Organisations (NGO's) are another important source
of farm inputs, especially to the family fara sector. PVOla and
NGO I s are also involved in exttension, training, and research
functions. They often create competing parallel exttension services
to the governments.
Farm products enter the market through twoe basic channels in
Mozambiq~ue (Mucavele, 1990). AGRICOM is the agricultural marketing
arm of the government. CNSP is responsible for setting prices for
agricultural commodities. The Grain Marketing Board (GMB) buys and
sells grain For the government. Parallel to. this formal structure
is the complex network of private traders. Both path lead to both
internal and external consumers.
)rEighty percent of the population of Mosambique work in the
agri cul tural sectorr (Rucavele, 1991). S mall holder farmers
cultivate 87% of the land under production. The small family farm
sector was said to be responsible for 70% of the gross agricultural
production while receiving less than 40% of the imputs in 1984
This imbalance can be attributed to the radical socialist
regimes contempt for the small holder: private family farmer (Wuyts,
19857) Government strategies for development following
independence centered on nationalization of former colonial
plantations. These were turned into state farms based on the
Soviet model. Wuyta (19857) pointed out that the nationalization
of land and the departure of Portuguese settlers did not lead to
any redistribution of land to the peasantry. The plan of the Third
Congress was to invest nearly 4 billion dollars (U.S.) in the state
farm sector over ten years. Galli (1987) attributed this massive
investment to the consequences of urban dependency on settler
agriculture for basic food needs.
The failure of this approach is probably best illustrated by
the 500 kg/ha average mraize yield attributed to the state farm
sector (Galli, 1987). Small family farmers were achieving better
or equal yields ri thout benefit of pesticides chemical
fertilizers, or machinery. By 1983 the Fourth Party Congress
admitted that ,IMozambique had neither the managerial nor the
technical expertise to run giant state farms" (Hanlon, 1984). The
Fourth Congress decided to concentrate on the development of the
cooperative and peasant sectors.
The cooperative sector was made up of 1, 350 communal villages
in 1983. Rowveer, it is believed that most of these were
nonfrunctional, and many of the 2 million people who had been
assigned to them had Fled back to traditional lands or to the
cities (Banlon, 1984) Although many officials of BRELIMO vere
more comfortable with the socialist ideals of the cooperatives than
with the capitalism of the small family fara sector, resources
directed to cooperatives were often sabotaged by those whose
interest lay with the state farm sector (Galli, 1987) The idea
of communal villages has never caught on, as is illustrated by
table 3.2 (Mucavele, 1988) .
The small family fara sector is clearly the most important to
Mosambican food security. Small family farms are defined as those
in which all the labor comes from within the family itself
(Mucavele, 1988) A successful family farm which was able to
employ outside labor would fall into the private farm category.
Small arms come in many sizes, but most are under 2 hectares
(table 3.1) Despite its importance to the overall food production
system in Mlosambique this sector has been much neglected. Even
after the Fourth Congress called for a 45% increase in food
production from the family sector they only allocated a 25%
increase in resources to that sector (Galli, 1987) It is hopeful
that the Fifth Congress has initiated policies which will better
serve the small family farm sector.
The following section of this report should give a more
detailed account of the agricultural production system of the small
family farm sector in Mosambique.
FOOD CROP PRODUCTION (,000 metric tons)
1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988
riemaize -;esorghum -E-cassava(x 10)
source: FAO production yearbook
CASH CROPS (,000 metric tons)
1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988
cashew cotton ---sugar (x 10) copra
source: FAO production yerarbook
LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION (,000 metric tons)
1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988
source: FAO production yearbook
LIVESTOCK PROD)UCTS (FA(O estimates, '()00 metric tons)
1985T 1986~ 1987
Beef andl veal 7 38 3 S
Goalts' meart 2 2
P'igs' menlt 10 10 10
P'oultr~y ment 1 193 20
Cows' milk. 65 6,5 (15
Goats' milk 9 9
Hen eggs 1.(1 12.5 12.
Cattle hidles 6i.1 l
Source: FAO, Produtction Yeanrbook. .
l'()A estimlaltes, '(100( headlt, year~u endlingS Sc~epltembe
198X5 1986~ 198H7
A-sse~s .O 0 0
Shoo .. 115 I lri 117
Ga~~s .(i .. ag s g
Source: FAOr(, P'tlrodctionr Yac,rbook.
PRIINC:IPAL, CROP)lS ('000 metric tons)
1938(i 19187 1988
Riice (puddity)* 60 55 55
Maize 50* 271t X334?
So~g~humn 1930* 6i7 1311?
Potatoes* 6 (5 65C ti5
Sweet potatoes* 50 50 50
Cassua (anilloc)* 3,300 3,350 3,370
Pulses ... 60 60O 60
Grou~ndnlut s (in 'shell)* 5 (i5 615
Sunflower seedl* .. 2 20 20
Clottonlseed.l 61?t 62t 6i2*
Colttonl (lintL) .o .. 0f32 32*
Cocouts 10( 115 420
Sugar canle* 300 610 5701
Oranlges* 20 20 20
Mangoes* 32 32 32
IhBanas* 75 80 82
Papayuys* 42 43 4
Otlher fruits* .. 178 183 186
Cashew nuts* 30 30 30
Tea (made). t 5t 5*
Tobacco, (leaves)* .. 3 3 3
JTute alnd jute-like fi~bres*e 4 4 4
Sisal* 3 3 3
*" F'AO estimartes. t U~nofficial estimates.
Source: FAO), P'r~oductione Yealrbook.
MOZAMBlQUE: food CROP PRODUCTION
1oo | '000 TONS: ANNUAL TOTALS
90 EZ] BEANs
1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987
M ON DLAN E
SECRETARIES OF STATE
--AG WATER RESOURCE
TABLE 3.1: ESTIMATES FOR 1988 OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF
FAMILY FARMS IN MOZAMBIQUFI
CATEGORY SIZE (HA) PERCENTAGE NUMBER OF FAMILIES
I LESS THAN 0.5 3% 81, 777
II 0.51 0.99 19% 515,825
III 1.00 1.50 28% 775,652
IV 1.51 2.00 20% 551,107
VI GREATER THAN 2.0 30% 816,402
SOURCE : Mucavele, F.G;. 1988 based on 1980 census,
Carvadlho 1969, and Informacao Estatistica de
Mocambique (various years).
TABLE 3.2: CULTIVATED AREAS FROM 1983 TO 1986
CATEGORY 1983 1984 1985 1986
FAMILY FARMS NA NA NA 12,000.0
STATE FARMS 118.6 122.8 90.7 66.9
COOPERATIVE FARMS 7.9 13.0 6.4 4.7
PRIVATE FARMS 41.2 53.7 45.3 54.9
MIXED FARMS 0 0 0 1.9
TOTAL 167.8 189.5 142.3 12,128.6
SOURCE : INIA, Ministry of Agriculture, 1987.
Africa South of the Sahara, Europa Publ. 1990
Camb. Info. Gr. 1990. Cambridge Information Group world
BIU. 1989. Economic Intelligence Unit Mosambique Country Report.
FAO. 1989. Production Yearbook.
Galli, R.E. 1987. The Pood Crisis and the Socialist State in
Lusophone Africa. African Studies Rev. 30 (1) pp. 19-44
Hanlon, J. 1984. Mosambiqrue:The Revolution Under Fire. London.
bMucavele, P.G. 1988. A Review of Pactors Responsible for Sorghua
and Maine Crop Pattern Changes in Maorambique. Thesis
Michigan State University.
Mucavele, P.G. 1990. The Impact of the Economric Rehabilitation
Programme on the Grain Markets in Maputo. SADCC report.
Mucavele, P.G. 1991. Agricultural and Economlic Development in
Mosambique. Appendix 1 to this report.
Raikes, P. 1984. Pood Policy and Production in Mosambique since
Independence. Rev. Afr. Pol. Econ. 29.
Wuyts M. 19857 Honey, Planning, and Rural Trans format on in
Mosambique., in The Aqrrari an Question in socialist
Transition. Journal ? sorry lost the reference.
UN~IVERSITIY O F LORIDA
FOOD IN APRICA
AGRICULTURE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN MOSAMBIQUE
By Firmino Gabriel Mucavele
The present paper is intended to give an overview about food
production, markets and institutions in Mozambique. It does not
substitute further readings one must perceive to have a better
understanding about the country, climate, food policies, natural
resources and economic development of the country.
The paper concetrates on the last developments in economic
arena giving more emphasis to agriculture.
2 AN OVERVIEWII OF AGIRICULWU~RE AND POOD SYSTEMS
In Mozambique agriculture contributes about 45% to the Gross
National Product (GNP) which in 1989 amounted to US$ 5.5 billion.
The most recent estimate of GNP per capital in current US$ is 250.00
(1989). CongEliing with the GNP for the Low Income Countries which
is US$ 260.00 per capital and with the Lower Mid Income Country
with US$ 820.00 per capital one can concludes that Mozambique is one
of the poor countries-About 40% percent of the population is under
a chronic food insecurity.
The current population of Mozambique is estimated in 15
millions (1990) About 80% of the population is involved in
agriculture. Currently 5% of the area are state farms, 7% are
private farms, 1% are joint ventures between government and some
international companies such as LOHNRO, JOAO F. SANTOS and
ENTREPOSTO group. Small holder farme~Scultivate about 87% of the
The government is organized in several minitries such as
Ministry of Agriculture, Health, Education, Transport and Energy,
Water and Contruction, Commerce and Trading, Foreign Affairs,
Defense, Culture and International Cooperation.
The Ministry of Agriculture is organized in National
Directorates, Departments and State Secretaries. Currently the
major directorates are: Directorate of Agriculture, Directorate of
Rural Development and ~Extension, Directorate of Agricultural
Economics. For some major export and industrial crops there are
establ ished state secretaries (SS ) such as State Secretary of
Cotton, SS cashewnuts and SS agricultural hidraulics.
The level of food production and the productivity of
agriculture is very low. In fact, domestic food supply is currently
in deficit. The supply of staple foods is 40 % of the demand on
basic stable foods for the subsistence level.
The current population growth is about 2.5% .The late
estimate in economic growth is about 4%. However, the investment of
marginal growth in agriculture is almost zero. The Economic
Rehabilitation Program is intended to create incentive to invest in
agriculture. The productivity of labor is very low. Land
productivity is very low due to poor management and farming
The market system is poor. The maj or food chain can be
systematized as: Farmer -AGRICOM + linceced Wholesalers +
Private/individual middleman Retailers and consumers.
3 MAJOR ELEMENlTS OF ECONOMIC REHABILITATION PROGRAM FOR
AGRICULTURE AND POOD SYSTEMS.
The Economic Rehabilitation Program (ERP) is in general sense,
an economic and social adjustment program. It was established in
1986 in attempt to rehabilitate the national economy.
ERP is based essentially on the following major policies:
1 Food Security Policy
2 Price, salary and commodity policy
3 Investment policy
4 International Trade policy
5 Finance, credit and exchange policies
6 Education and welfare policy
All those policies rare inter-related. It is not possible to
rank them as one may want to know.
The ERP is a direct result of decisions made in the fourth
Congress in 1984. Recently, in 1989, was held the fifth Congress
which decided to establish a market economy system. last Year, in
December 1990 maj or decisions were made in order to stabilize
democracy and incentivate private investment to allow market
economy system to operate as drive for the economic development.
Someojthe major decisions taken in the Fifth Congress which
will have impact in food production are:
1 Privatization of education and health under a national
2 Land Tenure System.
3 Mobile exchange rate system.
4 Establishment of food security programs under the general
program of Southern Africa Development Coordination Conference
5 -Establishment of free exchange system which allow
producers to export and import commodities.
by: Maria E. Costa
Moza m b iquet is a very diver-se c-oulntr-y r-anging ftroma high
~a ini7fall 1, i mpo ver i shed, l each ed s oil1s t~o lower r~a infall m o r-e
fertile soils. This paper will summarize a typical far-ming system
in Tete province, which is; one that has the morep fertile s-oils.
The appendix shows a graph of this farming system which will be
re-fer~red to throughoutt the paper.
Eighty percent of food crop product ion is attr-ibltab~le to
the efforts of women. The only ma~jor- role of men in agr-iculture-
is land clearing. The Green Zones are ar-eas around large cities
(eg. Maput o) that prod uce vegetables for- the cities. ~Th ese
cooperatives are run primarily by women. The reasons for this
predominance of women in aqr i c ult u r e is that the men ini thefL
families have been preoccupied fighting as soldiers or working in
other countries like South A~frica.
From the appendix we can see that the hunger months last~
about 21 months. These ar-e fr-om November- to Januar-y.
Mozambiqu.e has a long history of r-ain deficiencies and
irregularities.. Because of this fact, many fa-mer-s have tbwo or
more growth cycles in specific cr-ops. One cycle is ~hor~ter- than
the fir~st. Maize (see appendix and field beans ar-e crop~s in
which this practice is common. Another practice that is quite
common is intercroppping
Th e re are nultm e ro us threat s to crops in this c ou~n t ~y .
perhaps th17e most impor-tant was already mentioned, i n s lf fi ci ent
and irr-egullar- rainfall. Another large threat (specifically for-
millet and sorghu~m) is birds. Fr-om the appendix we can see t~he
bir-d scaring per-iods last about three mon~h s. This practiice
three months. nhe
corn, sugar cane, millet and others. Witchweed attacks the r~ootis
of host plants and reduces the effe ct iveness ofi host plants -to
obtain nutr-ients and water. In considering the magnitldee of this
th great r-emember- that one witchweed plant can p rodu~ce1/
million nearly microscopic seeds that can be dormant for up to 15
In the more humid areas of Mo za mb i qute, n em atoad es can be a
very serious threat. Viruses are also a serious problem
throughout the country. The problem with viruses is that they
are very prevalent, yet farmers do not seem to be very concerned
about them. This problem is magnified by many of the propagation
practices which perpetuate this situation.
Mealy bugs have caused great damage in Cas~sava plants.
Since 1989, there has been a very significant reduction in the
production of Cassava. This huge problem has been identified andi
the farmers are working hard to eradicate this pest.
Another large threat to agricult ur-e has been er-osion.
People have been heavily concentrating in areas and clearing very
large areas of land of shrubs and trees for firewood and other
uses.. This has caused a large pr-oblem of erosion in the countr-y.
When dealing with the hunger problem, we find that cowpea is
a very useful crop in combatting hunger. We can see in t~he
appendix that after three months the crop is ready to harvest and
it is produ~cedd and har-vested over- a seven month per-iod. This
crop is u se ful b e ca u se bot~h the leaves and t~h e seeds ar-e
consumed. These have a high nutrient content, especially Vitamin
A(, which is good for you~r eyes.
The typical farming cycle includes land pre par-at ion,
planting. weeding and mounding, harvesting and land prepar-atfion.
Other crops that are commonly grown which were not mentioned in
the appendix are field beans, okra and Ir~ish po t at oes. Fr-om a
survey that was done in order to determine the importance of
certain crops to households, it was found that Maize is the basic
food crop which was found in 100"/- of the households. Another
important crop is Cassava found in 94Y/. of the households
surveyed. Cowpea was found in 90"/. and Sweet Potato in 56"/- of the
When considering the hunger problem in Mozambiq u e, it is
very important to study the farming systems in the ar-ea. The
cultulral pr-actices of pr-odu~ction can be examined carefully and
per-haps further~ developed in or-der to better- combat the hunger-
Land Prep. Planting W~~eeding & Mounding ~ Harvest ~ Land Prep.
Land Prep. W ~reed/Moun
Land Prep. Planting ]Weedinq & Mloundinq Harvest Thrash LandPr.
Trans- Bird Scaring
Land Prep. Planting (Weedina & Mound. Harvest Thrash !LandPr.
Land Prep. Planting I-----------------------Harvest-------------
SWeeding and Mounding
Land Prep. Planting Weeding & Mounding Harvest
Harvest Weeding &~ Mounding
Land Prep. lPlantin (Weed & Mound Harvest I Land Prep.
SLand Prep. 1 ----------Harvest----------
AMlrL ~V1 l.I X
SEP OCT NOV DEC
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
Weeding & Mounding
Artn fre~d, Signe. 193(88 Women in Mozambiqu~e: Gender- Struggqle and
Gender Politics. Review of Alfrican Polit~ical Economy.v
Buthr-, Kenneth. 1990i. Re po rt~ of the AiclueSi~tu.ation a-nd
Wor-ld Visin Inter-activities in Tete and Zambezia Pr'iovinces~
of Morambique Resu~lting from Visits, Inter'views and
Observ at ion s, June 30 to Julyy 29,q 1990.
Doto, A.,L., C. Honwana and M. Spittel. 1990. Impr-oving the
Maize Cowpea Groundnuut system in Maputo Province.
S pi t el1, Muat th i js.; 1990. A7 farming sy st e ms research and
extlension project in the sandy areas around Mapu..to, tIhe
capital of Morambique.
'-la:za.;bi:,.u.~e has ,tn uni~in;e combin:ation ofne ra
:ocre:3. not~ i;un iit:2 oter devieloc ~-,cin:s -lar. ::es
s\Cluce nu aDls, ~ barrier-ef~ :zou r:i nas.:1: a
aid..i (1 a:.n e .71 I w l a k at t e r s u .
lzare~lnt, Szti zerm r?:: >
Thu~e~ D.1: of arg r rivers sytes dezicces
:ildlife. This includes mot fthe~c~ I::mlar.so :1 .
;I(ao:rriches, 2ri::se, and ducks ( ptan. Bu sten -r:
. t. aug lin,: Rohad2eead C7) i.:trdr :
lar:ge~ amuns: ofe ivory," skins strich~_ feathers,;: and;
Dur.ing :;olo zi onr h:!,nb:ncngisi erins:s :.
.nean..ating on rherif : uo n ia of:: .mr 2:H
naeae e uc~i~reei~: .t e w:s trm;.ac ::5 'L 11.-
bco:as 1979 He 1 00 Sc hn s .s.t s ._ ,-:-
';:-et armedl: -obber.' ::nd urde hav dso:::e Ir 3:
r is. 198. :'... ..
C e ::a ar::Lc mov men h.ts i flm:o d ::: -
e--:: "'' sur can on :Ctn .i i o r
imulae ::e~ate n coser':.:tio ::u to 2 -are 0::3
.sn i: ..iples Inonr o t:en.::c tae
: uservat on :au A ta e si =>n, 1 3
r .e o e:i :-e i :. :e~s :I 11:. r s r
..:::.ot-,, .:.: ;-;. ., _,~..
i .;..CO "
demanded :.::ljL: highT~ .exor value 31C~ncodie~ 1:::m: ra
:111 aalIneinl Endiazzred f~sncles -:.';_ZS: ::- -h-ich~~
!iza.=r.- ue:r subscrib~es 1Simbate,-s 19881) M~czarls..ir--ic br
.:ne jsu1h cr;ccedle rarm wict!: l.and- icte:;tial _: sr...:rji
-.arious cantelr;ss and~ estrich.
.I =-econd examp:lef of uiiigteeoo
game Is in an.tipoaech"ing~ ;\rogrs. hepace Rls :
:ccnomi= galin and is prto~teced b!- nis kini aInd -.ill::ge :i~,
as they~ also gain. We h ilg :x oet a:
tconomicailly than th~e sochzer, the s--stem~ L'-:.i.er::. ii:
tto use thl mteat as well as Ipro~idfing paymenF:t to .:is ;il;;age
tr'easury pacaes accil:cmic gain on~ :he viil.-,,- level~. : -.
thisi programs haes been? practiced the -mach:in; i.::.:il- as.s ::.te
shamed rather th:an env~ied!. Villagesr ihave :;ained -non 1
m~one! to build hiea2lth cliniCS c2nd schoolS. ci: a
decr~eased in: a-eas8 with: such pro-gram.S. 13;~2~~ Ie .lT1.
This prog~ram- has not been, insti:u~tsd in :?ozambicquei wh-~Er
po chingon!tlrnues to be% a problem~ (Simberse,;~ II:;88.
t~eI- any othe Ccountry- i,: souzihern Af-iric, :-irhe:; ; &::.;::&
infrluxi: o over 300C,0030 -visitos. hycasba.s
\IC3ambiqui Wais difer~enlt, in e.<:citi:1g bled o :::pca
Afrcaz andi Latin w~aZ- V' life i(Alexandei~r, l;91:i,. 1
preisnene of -~:th hospitabl~e TPrtuguise ands cevailcbill: r
'Cawnis and wines' of' inese ",-iv~i-iz.-d' cacclet 31:rI.e.1z:5..
;-:a 's geed rto Lth aff:\lue~nt white~ 3f .-.l'-ica, Euirage an i?.:4
fChe internal problems since I:1di~venda.:ncehsme:e
aff.ect d :Se ourist trad,~e, w-iith Deco:le b sit;: r --isi
the oun ry hile 190:5 -56 :neom :-_, iso :i ed .:.;
t-urizz nust be 98mall as i': is 3t: 1Ciclute 1n diZomi
Disorc Itis32 still ther ;_aBucue.rnnl::
's'z offers" 3ig 'ame fishing a~nd scuba:~ i-1:in
:&:porctnitis .113::ander, LO T:.; .I a : :::1c
fruscrationS ;Cated '.:- Math~: .L~;I;ze.:n uatin t ':o
; prna ndlb :0 :3.1 a:ki-
n; w s :.: n.1 .= l e .:e::= :: -:u c
ode r :1t c- i;o 1 : 1 u c s 2 1
-:in :Ls.>:: a~s .??= De n d ve.;:a2 as a m : ::::st
a ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ :~ ti-t a::-a s:tnet r.::&tei
n re e v d K p an t a 1 7 : a l 0 r-t
.ta fihin isof ino sinitcane .nd axe Ca a :1
sussen e N -s lngtela grriesan :. .0::.:
a al, 1977)
The ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~-- exasv osliewt t cu .raL
convenient ~ ~ ~ ~ ; gaea o nutil :iea .n u
Zimbabwe, Zambia andSwzilnd _T1 is s':. icatio
transport- sys em -snit-:GT .It oag oreign :::r
mediur.: ([ S Dprten f ar 1) E: r3
(Maile 1980 .:esi:: L,- 0 D~te: :.f -u:
"..'2 -ii Co s" sh-n ha i b t c me t : 5 <:.1-:1
:!:i~th :.he 12 : of tCse _B r01? 11fl. ::.
'.f::: oneou f:c acc mets controlss l:he ..:s of .E
;ud hc, c Zambei Irlice bl hle~ S:rdne:15 ::eans~ cf zelt .r.:L.::
er:-:eenZ i2land cnnda Africa L 8:: :Eera: ..s7:r:ih
.trrns 2:.xssa dams in 1982f:- r.as add on, -; r::r a
Kli r -
ic:::. (S r:.ii..: me i.la:-:as, 100031 The
Sar aciao and~ Ein-,Khamas~t LE-D.o t:e Ien.:ir I enesa a.:r;:
amo~ n; 3 ::.-: thn :hc~ welll~ !dio18 18
inS, ~::dece~ mini s 0: ra.rt:o ~ metalsi~l asbsto isl~::
::er col .::5 etroleu 73:-::::ur..-d 1--I re ,:::? 1
.rocort ion diminishfed afr nini cnaCe2~1::Cs ;:s j.dcrc
fightnb in the mcsinea rich! dist rirc:.:,ts fNise.
acciBi~ty (Sera cis a-nde39 lKhwslu). (jl a)':
::raiL ioenmn .ls cintrol fasind -! produce thre S:aint.: i:.:' .-ni
'formbeig hinvs tmientcnius ihoebg fm
found., on th~i~e co s: rrs; in 198, ith= prodctico lla~::: ~~c::: 1.
a ter an- .investmea-intl of~ S40 ilio iilrsbyth Ii
Mczambeiqu a jo~ined-,~ iurganir:.-ation :;-:jcs le C
nit. ::rgi tnzc eor coult -annel 1:t:;for::n :e- a
jedical and educat.eiona 3aide~". Cirui clia197 a :
and ZI-Kaws 1979). "
In1:8 te0 aort-rle nd:padntsan o
::. 1 ::.lm an En= :ac i.: .to- j r .
one -a- -?- :: ::::5r nts-a a ..a e t I e:e:
:. ,- .... d-sic to a .et.er l,, thrown soi
.n. ::12L:: ian ce. re tia .. .3 ? n
-r ..r1: ri.lr-(- 1090) In: .
iildlife and Other Natural Resources
Abegunrin, 01ayiwola. 1990. Economic Dependence and Regional
Cooperation in Southern Africa SADCC and South Africa in
Confrontation. Lampeter, United Kingdom: The Edwiin Mellen Press,
Alexander, Douglas. 1971. Holiday- in ,lozambique. C~ape fTown: Dlrnell
Hoile, David. 1989. MIozambique A Naction in Crisis. Londojn: The
Kaplan, Irving, Howard Bl~utatein, Peter Just, James MfcLaughlin. H. Masrl
Roth and Mildred Vreeland. 1977. Area Hajndbooki for M~ozambiqure.
Washington, D. C.: U. S. Government Printing Offie.
Penvenne, Jeanne. 1979. Attitudes Toward Race and iWork; in .Vozambioiue.
Boston: ALfrican Studies Center, Boston University.
Serapiao, Luis and MIohamed El-Khawas. 1979. Miozambique in the
Twcentieth Centuryv; From Colonialism to Indepe~ndence. .sh:tn
D. C.: University Press of America.
Simbatwe, M1. P. 1987. An Appreciation for Divers-ity. Proc--.ii,-: of
the Seminar on Conserving Yildlife for Tourism Dev'elopment.
Livingstone, Zambia: Livingstone Museum.
Simbotwe, Malumo. 1988a Appraisal of Wildlife Management in Africa
(19'70-1987). Current Bibliography on Afl-rican A-ffa~irs: :2111
Simbotwe, Malumo. 1988b. The Role of Crocodilians in Game Utili~ztion
Schemes in the SAtDCC Region of Africa. Ai Current Bibli.-ru ; ';; on
Affrican Affairs 20:242-267
U. S. Department of Commerce. 1990. Mioambique: Foreign Economic
Trrends and Their Implications for the U'nited States. :.:.to
D. C.: U. S. Government Printing Office.
i_. S. Department of" State. 1991 Mozamb~ique: -".-ckg~rolund! Notes.
Wa~shington D r'.: :- ::, >F Public Aiffazirs.
The Distribution System of Mozambique
The distribution of essential goods and services in Mozambique,
particularly foodstuffs, has been radically affected by the decade-
long civil war. Prior to this, colonialism and socialist villasiza-
tion efforts also exerted considerable influence. Traditional sys-
tems of distribution have been largely displaced by these more
recent social forms. Only at the intrafamily level may some vestiges
of earlier traditional institutions be found.
As in much of Sub-Saharan Africa, the large majority of Mozam-
bique's inhabitants have practiced subsistence agriculture, with
important contributions from hunting and gathering, and have only
relativelY recently been incorporated to any great extent into a
market economy (this beginning most prominently during Portuguese
colonization). Polygynous family units were the norm with goods
and services being exchanged primarily via the economy of affection.
With the arrival of the Portuguese this changed as taxes were levied,
and many were forced to perform labor for Portuguese overlords.
This labor conscription was at times quite brutal and it served to
weaken traditional forms of distribution.
It was during this colonial period, however, that most of
Mozambique's modern transportation infrastructure was constructed.
Rail lines, roads, and Port facilities were all built where none
had previouslY existed. These were to become both a boon and a bur-
den for independent Mozambisue. As is evident from an examination
of a map of modern Mozambique (see Figure 1), the major rail lines,
and to a lesser extent the main highways, all tend to run from
the interior of the countrY to the sea. Few transport lines connect
the various provinces. This is great for moving goods quickly into
or out of the country, but such as system hampers intrastate trans-
portation. This system is largely a legacy of colonialism. It was
designed to quickly move raw materials out of the country and to
quickly bring in finished products from Portugal. For the develop-
ment of a colony this may be fine, but for the development of an
independent nation-state, this is~horrible.
After independence, the socialist government of Mozambique
sought to restructure the society along the lines of those initia-
tives being pursued in China. As more recently in Ethiopia, they
sought to collectivize land and labor through the development of
cooperative villages. Much resistance was met, no doubt in part
because of the negative memories peasants had of Portuguese labor
conscription. Overall these villagization efforts met with very
limited success both because of local resistance and because of
anti-government guerrilla activities and the beginnings of Mozam-
bique's continuing civil war.
As of 1990, most of the country remained under the control of
RENAMO forces and other bandito groups (see Figure 2). Only small
areas around some of the regional centers are being effectively
protected by Mozambique's military forces (FRELIMO). Large areas
in the central part of the country remained essentially inaccessible
as roads and related transPortation infrastructure (bridges, depots,
etc.) had been destroyed by guerrilla forces. Where roads are still
intact, military escort is often necessary to ensure the safety
of individuals and the goods they are transporting.
Over 1,400,000 people have fled the countryside for the rela-
tive safety of urban centers. Currently, about 90% of Mozambique~s
food must come from external sources. The civil war has greatly
affected food production and well as the nation's ability to dis-
tribute food to those who need it. As rail lines are easilY sabo-
taged, they have remained little used in recent years. In many
areas (see Figures 3 and 4), food has been airlifted to those in
need, however, this is a very expensive means of distribution and
is not viable in the long term.
Transportation vehicles are in short supply. 10% of all govern-
ment owned trucks were destroyed last year. Most trucks and ships
are old and it is not uncommon for them to spend 20-30% of the time
"in shop" being repaired. Of the various funds requested of lending
institutions by the government of Mozambique, those for transpor-
tation and distribution top the list. Ironically, these are the
very expenses that have been least successfully met. There remains
an urgent need to improve the distribution of foodstuffs and
necessities such as cooking utensils and clothing.
While traditional, colonial, and socialist elements have
influenced distribution in Mozambique, none have had the pervasive,
and catastrophic, consequences that modern civil war has wrought.
Until some semblance of civil order is restored to large parts of
rural Mozambique, the prospects for revitalizing the country's
system of distribution and transportation remains dim.
nap dor~~ notr legg, efui adraIt
or ~accance ~by the Unled Heier
O National capital
o Town,. village
-.- Main road
5 0 100 160 km
From Mozambique, 1990.
CONDITIONS OF ACCESSIBILITY FEBRUARY 1990
UNITED REPUBLIC OF
Free overland access
Military escort access
Destroyed road infrastructure
and security constructure
SAccess by air
r External access
MAP NO. 34771l Rev. 1 UNITED NATIONS
PROJECTED FOOD MOVEMENTS, 1990-1991
(in metric tons)
0oIhe houmrlerae and anames shwnm on t/as35401
o' i, rno onn rl oul edrb"',"'," UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA a
( ..rl Ae'Muedao INDIAN
.*,,, NIASSA meu.)CABC7 %\ OCEAN
Z A M B I A~ ~ m u oMa catos eo ma vago r us / ~ D E L G A D O o
ochiconanoMrp~ q Pemba'
MALAWI eoam. ,-0~'"C 39 000
.. c Mn mba NAMPlU LA~eulr w
.* Ch,(undeO onu C 30 Ribbu6r MeuO O1
F1"ngl TETE srn aMa a u uuua Nmue ih 5
Zumbo 7tb *,OO
0 ongo /6 an u\ Namorrbi Mo16osu %.Ost m
MBgod 9TeO gMilan0 OErrego Gil6 C
Cu****. .jzr o am
'?'0 ibsr *Z E I Moma
400 f ,chamb Morumbala Magane Pebaa 00
MAVINICAL can Mopean ODUlimun
Catandihng. O / hmng ar 3 000 e
ZIMBABWE oarno n,\
5 0 hmlSOFALA
S u s s o g o 0 9 u r
-20. ~~84 000 2-
Inasr P)Rovince boundary
..( Q. O National capital
OMabore @ Provmee capital
Chcaaul Vitancula ^t o Town, village
INHAMBANEV / 3 Rai tonH
aa GA ZA other road
1 ~ M assinga j 50 100 150 km
Ma s ing Ndangue Homoine
1a~rll 0mInha an
AFRICA ?~AwsTC~ chib uissicoY'" ~ i.
-2y agude~ \aa a 400
Moamba~, MAPUTO INDIAN
/ ~33 500OCA
WAZIl N \M M1U
MAP NO. 3592.1 UNITED NATIONS
From Mozambique, 1990.
PROJECTED AIR-LIFT MOVEMENTS, 1990-1991
(in metric tons)
100 1.g 10
The oundanes and mines shown on 1/s 'I30"(
"mp,. tlo~ o ed",$,"' j UNITED REPUBL-IC OF TANZANIA m
.. Pu MuudaJ INDIAN
ZAMBIA *27 I onvo esuc-uo
Mttnua Macaloge O ussang
O Chiconone 5.ua r
ILtchng Marui3 Momenruel P~mlra
SMa a 756 No nne lrap
\an.m 605 NAMLPULA
** '*.Cuambai M~cult~itler: Maa Ncl
**i~ e a o- /~;p l 4f 0 e o1 o s a
-i Fingoi! Fuan g: 5*
n EEiwn* "Snea ~ r6 urpl Nampla th
S Mbgod TetLA' /`~~.,^"YJ Mi on Erreg(o Gli)s
oatz *Lugelaol 2 550 1 50 a ^Anyocha
Ct ad Tatmhalf3 1 560 Momea
( h mln4. tLoMOrlrlbl amus 3 026
o Guro 65 am 2,00
canIn ANIC 2 GMeimae
ZIMBABWE Majc oa ( Cnd
-2 47 Beira 2
Inlhassworn- Internahional boundary
Cs" Province boundary
e trO Nationdi Cdpital
Mabote Vltanculo i Provincle capitall
/7,,,p ~Chicu~alacuala ? Tonvllg
INHAMBAN o Man rma
\ GAZA ~Other road
Massinga 60 100 1150 m
SOUTH 1.Gid Panda i rhabn
AFRICA Chib.~ y``q~~ut"C
-25e ~~~ MaueoI
/.**** I MAPUTO
MAP NO. 3592.2 UNITED NATIONS
From Mozambique, 1990.
PERCENTAGE OF UNMET REQUIREMENTS BY SECTOR
Relief and survival
Food aid (market and relief)
1989-1990 APPEAL TOTALS
361 790 640
213 865 981 Al
38 885 543
(61 108 434) B/
313 859 958
97 074 806
Pledged but as
yet unallocated and
q/ This total includes pledges amounting to $9,559,200 which
have already been allocated to various channels but were recorded
under the heading of Emergency contributions; multisectqr because
the breakdown is not yet available.
h/For information only. Out of this amount $54 million was
pledged by one single donor and is yet to be confirmed.
From Mozambique, 1990.
Food Distribution in Mozambique
American Embassy, Maputo. Foreign Economic Trends and Their Impli-
cations for the United States: Mozambique. June 1990. Washing-
ton, DC: U.S. Dept. of Commerce.
Magaia, Lina. Dumba Nenque: Run for Your Life. 1988. Trenton, NJ:
Africa World Press, Inc.
Mozambique, Government of. The Emergency_ Situation in Mozambique:
Priority Requirements fo~r thePerio 1990-1991. 1990. New
York: United Nations.
Urdang, Stephanie. And Still They Dance: Women,_~, Wa, and the
Struggle for Change in Mozambique. 1989. New York: Monthly
The food supply status of Mozambique paints a grim
picture, but with the continuance of outside assistance, not
an impossible one. In January of 1991 it was estimated that
one half of the population or seven million people were
dependent upon food aid (Ayisi, Ruth 1991:34-39). 57% of
the children below the age of five were estimated to be
suffering from malnutrition in 1988 and in 1987, 20% of the
infants were born weighing less than 2.5 kg. Wasting was
occurring in 8% of children in 1987(Republic of Mozambique
1989:42). There have also been reports of avitaminosis A
and pellegra, both vitamin deficiencies (Moz.1989:7). These
numbers are not surprising when one considers that greater
than four and one half million people have been displaced or
affected by the war (Moz.1989:4). These people have been
heavily concentrated in the Zambezia district of the
country, the most populous and a very agriculturally
productive area of Mozambique.
The Republic of Mozambique has developed several
strategies to cope with their continuing food shortages
which I will classify according to the groups of people they
are designed to assist. These are (1) the general
agricultural policies designed to meet the overall needs of
the country, (2) policies aimed at encouraging
self-sufficiency among the displaced and affected
populations, and (3) policies to assist the reintegration of
returnees into the agricultural community. Bear in mind
that these programs do overlap.
Since abandoning Marxist economic policies Mozambique
has shifted its emphasis from the inefficient state farm and
cooperative to the development of the family sector and the
private sector of the agricultural community. Agriculture
grew by 7.2% in 1988 and was expected to increase 5.1% in
1990(Africa Research Bulletin; 2/28/90). Unfortunately,
there was a severe drought in the Zambezia province in 1990
which adversely effected 80% of the rice crop. This may have
an effect upon the figures. Outside sources are also
offering support to the private agricultural sector, for
example, the United States loan of $12.5 million to this
The programs to assist the displaced and affected are
diverse. Several projects are underway in Zambezia and
Inhambane to establish or repair non-functioning irrigation
systems. Feasibility studies were proposed for small-scale
irrigation projects in Tete and Manica provinces
(Moz.1989:101). People who have been classified as
displaced and have been receiving food aid for extended
periods of time are expected to be re-classified as affected
which will require that they meet a greater percentage of
their food requirements by local production or purchase
through the market(Moz. 1989:38). Seeds and tools are
distributed to facilitate the reaching of this goal. The
goal for 1990 was to distribute over five thousand tons of
seeds of maize, rice, sorghum, groundnuts, cowpeas, and
beans, along with 860,000 units of hand tools. This is a
decrease from the previous two years. In 1987 over ten
thousand tons of seeds were distributed and over seven
thousand in 1988. It is estimated that the 1988
distribution program benefited approximately two million
people of whom 10%' are considered fully self-sufficient.
The government is currently examining ways to reduce their
dependency upon foreign donors for seeds (Moz.1989:105-108).
Another program to provide food to the displaced and
affected populations is free food. distribution. Of the
195,335 tons slated for distribution during the 1988/89
year, only 60%' was actually distributed. The main problems
appear to be logistical with lack of transport, fuel, poor
planning, lack of protection, and lack of funding for all of
the aforementioned (Moz.1989:37). The figures for 1990 don't
exhibit a great improvement--of the 2000 tons sent monthly
by the EEC for distribution, in August, only 900 tons made
it into the field and in September, only 250 tons (Ayisi,
Ruth 1991:34-39). One of the reasons mentioned was theft of
food at the port of Quelimane. The government neglected to
mention this problem in it's request to the UN.
To the list of distribution problems can now be added
lack of donor response. Only two-thirds of the food
requested for the 1990/91 year had been pledged and $500,000
of the $14 million of the financial support (ARB;10-16-90).
An aid appeal is not expected for next year due to this poor
response. Is this an attempt to inspire feelings of guilt
among the donor community? It seems to me that two-thirds
of the food request is nothing to turn one's back on. At
least some of the people would eat well.
There are also several schemes to encourage people to
acquire their food needs in the market place. USAID donated
$7 million of food for commercial distribution, including
6000 tons of lentils and beans, 2000 tons of vegetable oil,
and 65000 tons of maize (ARB;4/30/90). Another plan devised
by the Ministry of Commerce is the Food Bank Scheme which
provides for the sale of marketed food aid in areas of vital
agricultural and industrial enterprises with the proceeds
being reinvested in those enterprises. While the
distribution of food aid for market sales has been
relatively successful, 71% in 1988, the Food Bank scheme was
very unsuccessful with only 11% of beginning stocks actually
being distributed. Of course, this was also the first year
of the plan. Major problems are the degree of~ centralized
planning required and the amount of borrowing which
occurred. For example, the government borrowed from the
commodities pledged for the scheme to use for market sales
and then were late in repaying the loan. Enterprises
interested in participating had to apply for loans which
were late in being approved (Moz.1989:41). Another problem
was the delay in releasing the funds obtained for use by the
There are also food for work schemes being carried out
in most provinces. These are designed to use displaced and
affected people to repair the infrastructure in exchange for
food. These are expected to employ about 500 workers in
It does appear that the government is decentralizing
the distribution process to a degree. Local government
storage centers are releasing government purchased
agricultural products from the provinces of Zambezia,
Nampula, and Niassa, which cannot be transported to urban
markets due to the security situation. These are being made
available for free distribution with the promise of being
repaid from donor supplies at a later date. Were people
starving in these areas before because no free food was
available? Or has the security situation changed within
these provinces and people are once again able to farm, but
not transport it to an urban area?
By the end of 1988, over 100,000 refugees had returned
to their home provinces and the numbers are expected to grow
as the security situation improves. It is expected that
increasing numbers will return from outside of the country.
This will be an added stress upon the already precarious
food situation. These returnees are currently given seeds
and tools along with household needs or fishing nets if
returning to fishing areas.
The situation in the cities presents another story.
With the return to the market economy, prices have
increased. Salaries have not kept pace. In Beira, the
second largest city, the lowest salary of a health care
worker was 30,000 meticias per month. The price of a dozen
eggs was 2400 meticias and a kilo of tomatoes 1000 (Ayisi
1990:59). Thus over 10 percent of the monthly salary would
be consumed just by these two items. Compare that to a
minimum wage laborer in the US, where this would consume
only 2 or 3 percent of the weekly salary. Strikes are
occurring with the change in politics.. I don't know if this
is occurring in Mozambique, but in other war torn countries,
the military gets first priority for the food supply, then
the people living on the front lines, then people living in
secure areas. People living in enemy held territories
receive nothing. In the cities this means that frequently,
basic necessities must be purchased through the black market
which implies higher prices. With a return to the market
economy, the need for the black market should diminish,
which would allow for the recapturing of this sector of the
economy. Increased tax revenues would allow for an
improvement in basic services and government salaries.
The return of large numbers of refugees may bring some
serious problems to the urban areas. Of 20000 people
expelled from South Africa in 1988, only 700 opted to settle
on government provided agricultural land. The remainder
dispersed into cities and towns of Maputo and Gaza provinces
and are not being assisted by the government. This could
cause many problems in the coming years if not controlled
The effectiveness of the aid distribution programs of
Mozambique leaves much to be desired. Cost constraints
deter the equitable distribution of aid. Peter Simkin, the
UN coordinator for the emergency, cites the cost of $1400 to
airlift 120 pounds of grain which just isn't feasible. Some
areas, therefore, receive more than there share while others
receive none. Ground transport is not much better. Add to
this the problems of poor planning and corruption and one
can see many justifiable reasons for the drop in donor
support. Also, changes in eastern bloc politics does
nothing to improve the situation, with more donors anxious
to rebuild eastern Europe where the constraints are not so
overwhelming. Mozambique has good policies, but many of the
projects on line now will require quite some time to prove
themselves effective or not. The government is not faced
with a stable situation. The war doesn't always stay in one
area which can just be roped off, nor does drought. For
now, they appear to be doing the best they can.
Ayisi, Ruth; The Workers' Demands; Africa Report;
5&6-90; P. 59-60.
Ayisi, Ruth; Back to the Stone Age; Africa Report;
1&2-91; P. 34-39.
African Research Bulletin; 2-28-90, 4-30-90, 7-16-90,
Republic of Mozambique; The Emergency Situation in
Mozambique: priority requirements for the period
1990-1991; Government of Mozambique and the UN;
1989; New York.
Summary and Conclusions
lo za m bi1quIre is e xp eri en ci ng a food Cr i si s yet it is not
bereft of resources. Mozambique possesses a large coastline with
excellent fishing g ~ou1n d s. Mozambican r-iver-s have excellent
hydroelectric and ir-rigational potential, and its position vis a
vis other landlocked Sou~h Afr~ican countlrie s has given it
economic power as a railway middleman. Furthermore, Moluzambiq u e's
wide range of climate and soils has led to a wide r-ange of cr-ops
produced. However, crop yields have remained stagnant with a
population growth of 2.6"/, leading to widespread hulnger.
Why has this food crisis occurred? One of the major reasons
was that the government policy of "radical socialism" from 1975
to 1982' emphasizing st at e farms, served as a disincentive to
small far-mer crop prod uct ion. Th e government seems to have
realized its mistake, and since 1986 has embarked on an Economic
Rehabilitation Program designed to promote private investments
and the market economy.
Another reason for the food crisis that is not improving as
quickly is the civil war- with RENA~MO. Th e war- has severePly
disrupted food produI~ct ion, mark et in g and d ist -i b~t i on, and food
aid in a large portion of the country. Resolving the RENAMO
conflict is really a necessary prerequisite to implementing
effective long term development policies to resolve Mozambique's