According to the latest figures, per capita, cereal production in Mozambique has remained below what is required to ensure food security, as compared to cassava and sweet potato production, which is around three times higher.
The data is part of a new publication, Basic Agriculture and Food Indicators 2015-2019, launched by the Mozambican Institute of Statistics on Monday (INE).
Cereal production per capita has stayed below the level of food security, at 71 kilograms per capita in 2015 and 94.3 kilograms per capita in 2019. The situation was better for cassava and sweet potatoes, with per capita production of 267 kilos in 2015 and 336 kilos in 2019, respectively.
At the level of cash crops, the data show stability in the reference period, a fact observed in cashew seedlings produced, around 4.5 million in 2019.
Between 2015 and 2019, livestock products showed low per capita figures: chicken meat production was 3.8 kilos per capita in 2019, up from 2.5 kilos in 2015.
In beef production, Maputo province stood out, with almost half of the country’s production: 7,266 tonnes in 2019. Manica and Sofala excelled in cow milk production as they accounted for 41.3% and 25.1% of the total in 2019, respectively.
Per capita, fish production fell to 11.6 kg in 2019, after 13.7 kg in 2018 and 12.4 kg in 2017, with sea fishing accounting for 59.5% of all the sector’s production.
Credit granted to the agricultural sector remained insignificant compared to the rest of the economy, at 3.65% in 2015 and 3.71% in 2019.
The figure contrasts with the weight of the agricultural sector in GDP, which stabilised at around 23% between 2015 and 2019, while the state budget funds allocated to the sector remained below 10% throughout the five years, having been set at 4.9% in 2019.
Regarding acute food insecurity, it stood at 29.9% of families in 2019 (for a total population of 29.3 million), while in the same year acute malnutrition affected 12.3% of children, INE data said.
The UN World Food Programme (WFP) also follows these indicators and estimated that acute malnutrition affects almost half of children under 5 years of age.
It also estimated that over 1.6 million people face acute food insecurity.