Mozambique is an elongated country on the southeast coast of Africa.
The country is one of the countries with the highest economic inequality. Despite abundant natural resources and increased economic growth in recent years, this has not led to less poverty. Instead, its growth has led to the concentration of political and economic power among a very few and the tightening of basic democratic freedoms.
Norwegian People's Aid's partners are civil society organisations that actively engage in defending the fair management and distribution of natural resources. Our most important partners are member organizations with strong roots in the local communities of small farmers.
Norwegian People's Aid started the programme in Mozambique in 1984 with humanitarian support to Mozambican refugees in Zimbabwe, and the population in the drought-affected areas of Tete province. The business is currently organized and managed by the office in Maputo. We also have a local office in Tete. The country office reports to Norwegian People's Aid's regional office for southern Africa in Johannesburg.
Support for civil society
Civil society in Mozambique pays critical attention to the state's governance structure and practices. Norwegian People's Aid cooperates with 11 civil society organisations. We provide the partner organisations with financial support and training so that they can best defend the land and resource rights of the people, especially smallholder farmers. Their livelihoods are threatened by commercial agriculture and mining, and our partners work to protect their interests.
The majority of Mozambique's population are small-scale farmers. However, climate change, tropical storms, and droughts have made farming even more difficult. Several Norwegian People's Aid partners are working on conservational agriculture to address this uncertainty.
Conservational Agriculture is a sustainable and climate-smart way of farming, helping to prevent the loss of arable land while regenerating damaged lands. The method promotes the maintenance of a permanent soil cover, provides minimal soil disturbance, and contributes to the diversification of plant species. The increased biodiversity, together with natural biological processes above and below the earth's surface, contributes to improved and sustained crop production.
Conservation Agriculture has several advantages:
- Less use of water is required, which in turn benefits especially women who are often the ones who have to fetch water
- The grass is not burned, but it is left to nourish the soil and plants. This also results in lower greenhouse gas emissions
- Tillage (plowing) is kept to a minimum, which means that less moisture disappears and there is less disturbance of the soil
- The soil can be prepared well before the rain comes. This results in less vulnerability in periods without rain.
- It provides larger and more predictable crops, which in turn creates the opportunity to sell the crops (it is grown a lot differently, but corn, tomatoes, peanuts, and cabbage are the most common).