The Mozambican Ministry of Agriculture recently challenged the country’s livestock farmers to draw up a strategy that would lead to placing good quality meat on the domestic market, thus reducing the level of meat imports.
The challenge came from the national director of veterinary services, Americo Conceicao, at a meeting in Maputo with cattle farmers, importers and representatives of slaughter houses and supermarket chains, held to discuss Mozambican meat production.
Cooperation can strengthen the value chain
Conceicao urged all stakeholders to work together to ensure a complete meat value chain and to take advantage of the potential market that is currently being filled by imports. He said that supermarkets are willing to buy Mozambican beef, and that commercial cattle farmers have claimed they can supply some of this meat. What is needed now is for cattle farmers to be more organised.
Conceicao said Mozambique currently consumes about 21 000 tons of beef a year. Although Mozambique’s cattle herd is growing by about 5% a year, imports still account for almost 30%(6 000 tons) of the national demand for beef.
Self-sufficiency is key
The growth in the cattle herd is still below the 7% a year mark stipulated in the government’s Agricultural Sector Development Programme (PEDSA), but Conceicao insisted that the target remains as such in order for Mozambique to be self-sufficient in all livestock products by 2019.
“Currently annual beef production in the country is 15 476 tons,” he said. Just more than half of this production (8,478 tons) comes from the traditional livestock farming provinces in the south of the country (Gaza, Inhambane and Maputo).
To meet the target of self-sufficiency in livestock products by 2019, the Directorate of Veterinary Services is promoting technologies to increase production and productivity and to improve quality.