Mozambique has inaugurated a new vegetable oil factory in the city of Cuamba in the northern province of Niassa. The country’s President Filipe Nyusi launched the facility and said it will aid in replacing importation of vegetable oil and have a direct impact on the Mozambican balance of trade.
The factory is owned by the Niassa Cotton Company (SAN), which is part of the Portuguese Joao Ferreira dos Santos group. Using soya, the factory can extract 7,500 tonnes of crude vegetable oil and 3,000 tonnes of refined oil a year. The factory would provide a market for about 40,000 producers of soya and cotton.
This reduction of imports, the Head of State explained “represents greater economic and financial autonomy of the country, and a greater capacity to retain foreign currency, widening our room for manoeuvre in exchange management, which is a crucial element in the stability of our economy”.
Imports of vegetable oil have been a heavy burden on the balance of trade. President Nyusi said that annually Mozambique spends about US$400 million on importing cooking oil – which is 30% of the import of all goods associated with agriculture.
Cooking oil is one of the goods whose world market price has soared recently, partly because of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which is one of the main producers and exporters of sunflower oil.
President Nyusi put the average rise in the price of vegetable oil at 100 per cent, making this product a significant component of inflation. “Hence, we reaffirm that one of the ways of reducing the cost of living is to increase our production”, said the President, “and to transform our raw materials into finished goods on our territory”.
The President was confident that the new cooking oil factory will simulate agricultural production and employment in agriculture. All producers of oilseeds would know there is a ready market for their production.