Production at Bananalândia, one of Mozambique’s largest banana producers, has halved due to a lack of water to irrigate plantations, production manager Manuel Maluana told Mozambican news agency AIM
The plantations of Bananalândia, a company located in the district of Boane, about 30 kilometres from the Mozambican capital Maputo, depend on the water collected from the Umbelúzi river, which in turn depends on the water accumulated in the reservoir of the Pequenos Limbombos dam.
In December 2016, the Mozambican authorities banned the use of water retained in the dam for the irrigation of agricultural fields in favour of the Umbelúzi treatment and pumping station, which supplies drinking water to Maputo and neighbouring Matola.
Maluana said that in addition to production halving, the quality of the bananas also suffered, with each bunch losing an average of 10 kilograms in weight to 50 kilogrammes now.
Bananalândia is currently exporting 1,200 tons of bananas to South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland every month and supplies 25 tons to the domestic market, “half of what the company exported and sold locally when there were no water restrictions.”
The production director added that the company has suspended all the projects it had in its portfolio, namely banana exports to the Middle East and the opening of new plantations in the districts of Moamba and Namaacha.