August 10, 2004

EU supports agriculture / Management of fishing ports to go private

The European Union (EU) has pledged to grant 48 million Euros to support the Mozambican agricultural sector in the period 2004-2006, according to the head of the delegation of the European Commission in Mozambique, Pinto Teixeira. Teixeira and Agriculture Minister Helder Muteia on Monday signed an agreement covering 9.5 million Euros of this sum. Two million Euros is to be spent on the institutional strengthening of the National Cashew Institute (INCAJU), the Mozambique Cotton Institute (IAM), and the Commercial Agriculture Promotion Office.
The other 7.5 million Euros will be spent on food security projects in the provinces of Niassa, Nampula, Zambezia, and Inhambane, which are to be designed and implemented by the private sector or by NGOs. Welcoming the funding agreement, Muteia said "We have been developing initiatives with the European Union that seek to increase production and productivity, and to solve the problematic of food security, thus allowing the development of rural communities".
In a different context, it has become known that the Mozambican government was planning to privatise the management of the country's four fishing ports, in Maputo, Beira, Quelimane, and Angoche. A team set up to prepare this process has already submitted the necessary documents to issue land titles for the areas around the ports, which will allow their registration. According to Fisheries Minister Cadmiel Muthemba, the privatisation was pending the issue of the land titles, but he could fix no deadlines for this. He also noted that the fact that currently the ports have no legal status hampers their full functioning and their capacity to negotiate bank loans, and they cannot take any kind of decisions. Of the four ports, only two, Maputo and Quelimane, are fully operational. The port of Angoche, in the northern province of Nampula, has never operated properly. This was blamed on the war of destabilisation, and since the end of the war, the fishing port has fallen further into decline. Funds have been granted by the African Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank to revive this fishing port. (Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique, Maputo)

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