UNIVERSIDADE EDUARDO MONDLANE
FACULDADE DE AGRONOMIA E ENGENHARIA FLORESTAL
PROSPECTIVE AREAS OF COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH
by Firmino G. Mucavele*
This paper presents a very brief organization of the Faculty
of Agronomy and Forestry Engineering at the "Universidade Eduardo
Mondlane". A summary of the major activities performed by the
staff members of the Faculty is also presented.
The "Universidade Eduardo Mondlane" is the only university in
Mozambique. It includes faculties such as Agronomy and Forestry
Engineering, Economics, Education, Law, Veterinary, Medicine,
Arts, Engineering and Sciences and Biology.
The Faculty of agronomy offers three undergraduate courses
(licenciatura): Agronomy-option in crop production, Agronomy-
option in rural engineering and Forest engineering. Courses in
animal production, husbandry and livestock are offered by the
Faculty of Veterinary. For a while, there are no courses in
In the Faculty of Agronomy and Forestry Engineering, there
are three departments namely the Department of Crop production and
plant protection, the Department of rural engineering and the
department of Forest engineering.
The Department of crop production and plant protection
includes a sector of agricultural economics and extension which
will be the future department of agricultural economics currently
in formation. Subjects and topics in agricultural economics are
taught in all courses of the Faculty by the stuff members of the
Agricultural Economics and Extension department in formation.
The stuff members of the faculty is currently composed by the
31 Mozambican professors, expatriates from Italy, Czechoslovakia,
Brazil, Soviet Union, East Germany, Chile, Netherlands and USA.
In the Faculty of Economics, there is only one assistant
professor dealing with agricultural economics.
*FIRMINO G. MUCAVELE is currently
Assistant Professor, head of agricultural
economics department in formation and candidate
for Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics at the FRED
2 CURRENT RESEARCH
The research done by the Faculty of Agronomy and Forestry
Engineering is part of the National Agricultural Research program.
The Dean of the Faculty is a member of the Technical Council
of the Ministry of Agriculture. Some professors of the university
departments are also members of technical and research teams of
the Ministry of Agriculture.
The maj or research proj ects in which the staff members are
currently assigned are:
1-CROP IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMS
1.1-COWPEA IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
The is one of the programs of the Southern African
Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) branch of Agriculture
Research (SACCAR). The major objectives of this program are: to
create new varieties which are tolerant to drought and diseases;
to evaluate the existing germplasm in the SADCC region, to create
the regional germplasm bank in the context of SADCC and draw
recommendations for production improvements to the smallholder
The program is also integrated with the farming systems
research program. Therefore, studies about crop mixtures and
consotiation are carried out by the University and National
Agriculture Research Institute (INIA)
1.2-MAIZE IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
This program is a part of the national program lead by INIA.
The Department of Crop Production and Plant Protection is involved
in experiments conducted in the Southern part of the country. The
maj or obj ectives of the program is to evaluate the tolerance of
maize to drought, to study the intensity of insect attack and its
economic significance, to identify varieties which can be
recommended for Mfaputo, Gaza and Inhambane provinces.
INIA is conducting more research on maize for the rest of the
1.3-GROUNDNUT IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
The Groundnut Improvement Program is one of the biggest
program conducted by the University. The maj or obj ectives of the
program are: to establish a local and exotic germplam; to select
and recommend new varieties which are disease and drought tolerant
as well as with high yield potential; to recommend agricultural
practices suitable for the identified varieties; training and
1.4-PAPAYA IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
This is a new program which started this year. The program is
intended to characterize the biotype of the varieties currently
existing in Mozambique, seed production and evaluation of cultural
practices for industrial production.
Citrus research still is an intentional program which has
been proposed by the University for collaborative research
(probably with the University of Florida and the University of
2-RESEARCH IN PRODUCTION ECONOMICS AND FARM MANAGEMENT
This is a new area of research in the Faculty. It was decided
by the Research Council of the Faculty that the above mentioned
programs must include economic analysis.
The major objectives for research in this area are: to
identify the maj or fac tors affecting farm management in the
smallholder farms, cooperative farms, private farms and state
farms; to identify the patterns of efficiency used by the
smallholder farmers, to evaluate productivity and efficiency of
input use, specially labor, fertilizer, capital and land; to study
allocative efficiency for the scarce resource at macro and micro
level and to generate recommendations and models which can be used
by the policy makers in deriving policies for agriculture.
Production economic studies in the level of small farms,
markets, farm simulation models are currently performed by the
Faculty of Agronomy and Economics.
Members of the Faculty are also involved in Food Security
Program lead by the Michigan State University and USAID/Maputo.
Proj ects in this area are expected to be drawn in
collaboration with the University of Florida, Michigan State
University and Cornell University.
3-FARMING SYSTEMS RESEARCH
The Farming Systems Research in the Faculty started in 1987.
The major objectives of the program are to Characterize the
farming systems in the southern part of the country, improve the
crop production systems under rainfed conditions, to generate a"
recommendations concerning the use of friies etcds
improved varieties, intercropping and cultural practices .o
4- FORESTRY AND WOOD ?
The maj or research programs in this area are the study of
wood properties of the maj or species of Mozambique, industrial
uses timber and its economic importance, collection of forest
germplasm species, refores station, agro fo re stry systems research
and forest conservation.
5 POTENTIAL AREAS OF COLLABORATION
There are three potential areas in which collaboration can be
developed: Research, training and institutional building.
Research can be done in areas of interest of the staff in a
sustainable way for the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane and the
University of Florida. This means that any kind of research which
can bring solutions to the food crisis is acceptable. Research
programs which allow the generation of alternative means to
increase food production in Mozambique or those minimize the
number of factors affecting food production are more desirable.
The emphasis in the research as been given to the factors which
can enable increase of resource productivity and efficiency.
Currently the University and the Ministry of Agriculture are
involved in reformulating programs of research giving maj or
emphasis to the economic analysis of food production, resource
allocation, farm management and agricultural policies.
Some important issues for research include questions such as
how to allocate the scarce resources into the different
enterprises and forms of production smallholderr farms, private
farms, cooperative farms and state farms)? Which policies must be
drawn -food security policies or food self-sufficiency, small
farms or large farms, state farms or private farms, free markets
or controlled markets?
Research on the role of women in agriculture is emphasized.
It is important to notice that 80 percent of the small holder
farmers in Moz amb ique are women. The contribution of the small
farms is about 90% of the total gross product in agriculture. Yet,
the levels of productivity are very low and the single crop
systems seem not to be sustainable agronomically and economically.
One of the gaps to be filled is the lack of lecturers at the
Faculty of Agronomy and Forestry Engineering. It would be
desirable to have some of the staff members coming to the
University of Florida for graduate courses or short term courses.
Other possibility is to have some graduate students enrolled
at the University of Florida, to go to Mozambique (fullbright
system) for specific thesis research or dissertation which would
enable the Faculty of Agronomy and Forestry Engineering to improve
the level of education and research by forming teams with
Mo zamb ican students who are also their research for diploma
4)(Licenciatura) in the similar topics.
B Short training courses can be organized in Mozambique in
which professors from the University of Florida would be called to
lecture for 10 weeks for instance. This would help the staff to go
for more training abroad. Also, it would be used to bring
professionals from other sectors for training at the university.
Seminars and workshops can! be organized to evaluate projects
and programs as well as the curricula used by the Faculty.
5.3 INSTITUTIONAL BUILDING
Eduardo Mondlane University is a very young university. The
faculties are incomplete and the staff is very young. The
suggested collaboration can enable the improvement of the current
staff and departments.
One of the important objectives in the institutional building
is the improvement of curricula. This can be perceived in such
collaboration. The development of courses and the future
possibility to offer graduate courses at the Eduardo Mondlane
University depend upon the creation of a capable staff members and
institution which can develop teaching, research and extension.
Exchange programs can facilitate those objectives.