MAPUTO Mozambique (Xinhua) --
The European Union (EU) in Mozambique told Xinhua
on Thursday in Maputo that it has an aid package of more than
300 million Euros (about 370 million U.S. dollars) to support
the country’s rural development in the northern province of
Nampula and central Zambezia, in sectors of energy, agriculture
According to Isabel
de Almeida, Head of Cooperation for the EU delegation in
Mozambique, the aid program will be carried out for a period of
seven years, as part of the EU Development Fund, which will
bring considerable benefits for local small farmers.
“The program linked
to agriculture competitiveness should be the first to implement,
later will follow the energy project, and the last part of
cooperation will be that of transport,” said Isabel.
The EU expectS to
have the three components targeting the two provinces in full
implementation by 2020, an initiative fully controlled by the EU
itself, to facilitate access to alternative energies and
transform precarious road access into the drive for trade.
“Our objective is to
bring down poverty levels and create an inclusive and
sustainable development, which means more agri-business by
facilitating access to the market and business for small
farmers,” added Isabel.
The EU official
clarified that the intention to improve small farmers’ access to
agri-business doesn’t mean to directly promote Mozambican
products in EU market, but to work with selected value chains to
explore the potential for investment and identify means to add
value to agricultural products, including processing for
national and external markets.
EU expects that
neighboring provinces in central and northern regions of the
country will also benefit from this investment.
The EU says it is
pleased with the cooperation with Mozambican government,
characterized by dialogue and mutual consultation so far.
“We evaluate the
cooperation with the government positively, there is an
excellent cooperation with the national office and the decision
to work in Nampula and Zambezia is a result of long-term
discussion and consultation as we worked together,” said Isabel.