Cargill invests in the next generation of farmers in Mozambique
Cargill has announced a U.S. $1.35 million three-year partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) to provide support for the Bilibiza Agriculture Institute (IABil) in order to enhance and expand educational possibilities for farmers in northern Mozambique.
The partnership, which
has been supported by Cargill’s businesses in Switzerland and Africa, will enable IABil, the only full secondary vocational school for agriculture in Cabo Delgado Province of Mozambique, to improve its teaching capabilities and to reach more student farmers in the northern region.
IABil will train up to 400 students a year with relevant technical and entrepreneurial skills, as well as sharing knowledge that will help them to participate in the sustainable development of the agricultural sector in Mozambique.
The funding will help increase the number of teaching staff at IABil, provide critical training on entrepreneurial and technical areas of agriculture including livestock and processing, improve infrastructure and equipment, and help establish a commercially operated farm to generate long-term income for the school.
“Cargill is committed to supporting our African farming communities to develop sustainable and responsible agricultural practices,” explains Pieter Reichert, business development manager, Mozambique. “To do this, we are working with NGOs [nongovernmental organizations] and governments to develop public/private partnerships and help develop a sustainable market for food and agriculture. This project is a fabulous step towards strengthening the next generation of farmers in Mozambique and we are excited to have this opportunity to collaborate with both the Aga Khan Foundation and the Bilibiza Agriculture Institute.”
Faiza Janmohamed, AKF Mozambique chief executive officer, states: “We are extremely pleased to have Cargill on board to support our partnership with the students and teachers of the Bilibiza Agriculture Institute, and the surrounding communities. With our national and other international partners, including the government of Mozambique, Cargill’s support will allow us to set a firm foundation to progressively upgrade teaching, infrastructure and management of the school. Our joint efforts to address the need for skilled smallholder farmers are timely and relevant in Mozambique, given government policies which emphasize the importance of the smallholder sector.”
As part of Cargill’s commitment to support initiatives such as the G8’s New Alliance for Food and Nutrition Security and the Grow Africa partnership, the company recently announced it is exploring a public/private partnership to support smallholder farmers and improve domestic grain production in Mozambique.
Reichert continues, “As we continue to work with our country partners to help invest in the next generation of farmers in Mozambique, it is clear that Mozambique is a market with strong agricultural potential. As such, Cargill is considering a number of opportunities which would not only support local farmers and agricultural development in Mozambique but will also help establish and build up our presence on the ground.” — WLJ