FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14, 2012
Contact: John Torres
CLUSA to Strengthen Food Security for Smallholder Farmers in Mozambique
(WASHINGTON, DC) – In Mozambique, the National Cooperative Business Association’s (NCBA) CLUSA International program has been awarded a five-year $14 million contract by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to bolster long-term food security in the country’s Central and Northern provinces of Zambezia, Tete, and Manica. The project is designed to boost agriculture production by 20% and increase household resilience by 30%, helping these small farmers progress from the subsistence level, to income generation.
“CLUSA International’s commitment to programmatic excellence is evident in the success of our projects worldwide. This award is a testament to the success of our team’s excellent leadership in creating long-term food security throughout the region,” stated Mike Beall, president of NCBA.
“We are excited to be partnering once again with the Norwegian government to assist vulnerable populations,” stated Wilson Beebe, Chair of NCBA’s board of directors. “CLUSA maintains a long institutional commitment to the success of the farmers in Mozambique.” Also partnering with CLUSA International on this five-year project are Tillers International and the Conservation Farming Unit (CFU).
This program will train 54,000 farmers and 50 emerging commercial farmers in proven Conservation Agriculture (CA) techniques and nutrition, benefitting more than 140,000 individuals. The practice of Conservation Agriculture is a method of farming that, when adhered to, achieves high and sustained production levels, while concurrently conserving the environment.
These environmentally friendly techniques promote strong resilience of the nutrients in the land being farmed. Once adopted by farmers, these techniques will increase current yields, which will increase incomes, improve soil fertility, reinforce crop rotation practices and ensure sustainability through the engagement of private sector service providers. The five-year implementation period will ensure a greater inculcation of the benefits that can be realized by adopting this technology.
“CLUSA’s holistic approach combines the benefits of Conservation Agriculture with a strong focus on organizing and strengthening smallholder farmers,” says Amy Coughenour, vice president for international development at NCBA. “By helping farmers organize, they have a stronger voice and more control over their destinies.”
An important aspect of this project is the integration of women in training and capacity building. A full 50% of targeted farmers will be women, who will benefit from the training in literacy and numeracy and assistance in land title acquisition and ownership.
As a whole, CLUSA’s projects in Mozambique include a strong, integrated gender component, utilizing its extensive expertise in creating conditions for empowering sustainable women’s participation in project activities. Providing farmers with the right tools, simple but specific agricultural guidelines, and a road map for gender empowerment, CLUSA International and its partners will contribute to the long-term, sustainable increase of food security and farmer incomes in Mozambique.
Since 1995, CLUSA International’s on-going agriculture, food security, and market development activities have benefitted over 100,000 small producers in five provinces in Northern and Central Mozambique. In 2006, CLUSA International assisted the Mozambican government in drafting a new association law that ensures the autonomy of associations and member-owned businesses. CLUSA International continues to work with the government to provide a voice for farmer owned enterprises.
Founded in 1916, CLUSA International is an international development organization with offices in 13 countries, providing sustainable community development in agriculture and food security, community-based healthcare, democracy and governance, and natural resource management.