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China supports Mozambique in rice production

Maputo, Mozambique, 14 May– Rice producers in Mozambique will be able to start harvesting 10 tons of rice instead of the current 1,200 kilograms per hectare with the support of scientists from China, an official from Mozambique’s Ministry for Science and Technology told Macauhub in Maputo.

Vasco Lino, research and innovation director at the ministry said that tests had been underway for two years with a variety of Chinese rice, in an area of 35 hectares, in Gaza province in southern Mozambique, with the results of that experiment considered to be promising.

It is expected that in the next agricultural season of 2010/2011 the experiment will be extended to other areas.

The deputy governor of China’s Hubei province, Li Xian Sheng, who was visiting Mozambique said that China would ask the Mozambican government for authorisation to purchase more areas to plant rice in order to produce rice to supply the entire Mozambican market.

“The results are good and we are going to ask the Mozambican government for more production areas in order to supply the whole Mozambican market,” said the deputy governor of Hubei on the sidelines of a visit to the Boane Technology Centre, in Maputo province, a project funded by China with US$6 million.

The Boane Research Centre is considered to be one of the most modern in Africa and will start operating in October.

Mozambique has much agri-ecological potential for rice production, mainly in the irrigation areas located in Matutuíne, Chókwè, Nguri and Nicoadala.

Mozambique currently consumes 600,000 tonnes of rice per year, whilst domestic production provides just 285,000 tonnes. The remaining 315,000 tonnes are imported.

Mozambique has around 36 million hectares of arable land, with only 5 million hectares in use. (macauhub)

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