The project aims to improve the farmers' adoption rate of improved high yielding maize and bean varieties (currently well below 20%) and drought-resistant crops with a short production cycle.
The project will raise awareness through trials and campaigns to promote drought resistant tropical varieties of vegetables as well as appropriate climate-smart agricultural practices. Additionally, there will be demonstrations of manual sowers, smart irrigation solutions (suitable for Manica Province), agricultural conservation, turkey promotion and small orchards. It is implemented in selected districts in Manica i.e. Gondola, Macate, Manica, Sussundenga and Vanduzi.
Manica Province is a vulnerable area frequently affected by extreme weather changes. Climate-related hazards, such as drought and floods occur frequently and have a devastating impact on the population that is more often than not insufficiently prepared. These disasters not only affect the people but also their food security, natural resources, public health and economic growth. Erratic rains, and prolonged drought spells, frequently followed by concentrated torrential rains, have compelled farmers to revise their planting season, determine shorter windows-of-production, and prolong the ‘hunger season’ making them rely on stored food and/or cash savings for their food security.
The AFOC - MSD project was designed on the premise that the agricultural sector remains key for development in Manica Province and provides a buffer to withstand the drastic impact of the sporadic climate changes. Investing in agriculture will also capitalize on new economic opportunities, bearing in mind the limited size of off-farm economies in the region.
The AFOC – MSD project aims to address the lack of smallholders’ capacity and ability to manage the risks associated with climate change and shocks. It addresses the need to apply climate-smart agricultural practices to ensure sustainable food security.
The project targets various value chains. Maize - the most important food security crop in Manica Province, beans - the green 'water-saving' protein for the future, important for soil enrichment due to nitrogen fixation, vegetables- as potential cash crops and import substitution – promoting tomatoes, garlic, cabbage and white onions.
The interventions employed focus on three different outcomes. These are the availability of stable food, access to stable food and promotion of climate-smart agricultural systems. The programme targets both men and women but deliberately targets 50% women, particularly female heads of plots, to increase their resilience and unleash their untapped potentials.
The project applies the Inclusive Markets (IM) approach, a Swisscontact approach with a proven track record of success. The IM approach will trigger a systemic change in markets by building on the existing end of market opportunities through facilitation rather than delivering direct services. This will be complemented and supported by the cluster approach. Clusters are specific segmented areas specialized in the production of a specific crop. From previous deployments, Swisscontact has learnt that clusters favor the dissemination of innovation and incentivize the private sector to offer specialized products and support services that strengthen linkages with buyers who need aggregated volumes.
The AFOC – MSD project aims to improve food security and the adaptation and resilience to climate change by smallholder farmers in Central Mozambique by promoting;