The Agri-Business Sector in Mozambique
The majority of Mozambique’s agricultural sector is made up of subsistence farming, mostly on small family farms, and commercial agriculture is limited. Maize and cassava, the main food staples, are grown by 80% of all Mozambican smallholder farmers and cover over a third of cultivated land. The commercial farming sector is dominated by large farms producing sugar, soybeans, bananas, rice, vegetables, nuts, cotton, tobacco and more recently macadamia nuts. Poultry farming has also grown. While poor infrastructure and telecommunications have long constrained growth in the sector, some crop yields have begun to improve.
The sector faces several challenges including poor road infrastructure, rudimentary farming techniques and reliance on rain and difficulty accessing credit and markets. Cyclones which were estimated to have destroyed 500,000 hectares of crops in central Mozambique, affected agricultural production, and maize production was expected to have fallen by more than 15% in 2019.
Investment in the Sector
Despite the challenges, there has been some investment including in organic sugar processing plant,
a new white sugar refinery, construction of a chicken breeding and egg-laying unit, cooking oil refinery and various processing plants. Olam Mozambique in 2018 relaunched its production of seed cotton in the districts of Morrumbala and Derre, in the province of Zambézia, after the plant was shut for three years.
This report on the Agri-business Sector in Mozambique describes the state and size of the sector and influencing factors and trade information with details on sub-sectors such as maize, cassava, rice, nuts, cotton, coffee sugar, dairy, tobacco and livestock, among others. There are profiles of 13 companies in the sector including major tobacco companies British American Tobacco, Emperor Tobacco and Mozambique Leaf Tobacco. Profiles of agri companies include Olam Mozambique, diversified group Mozambique Holdings Companhia Agricola JFS and Guernsey-domiciled Agriterra.