Climate Action: Irish Aid supports small farmers in Mozambique4/12/15
Conservation agriculture: Local bean mixed with cassava; Inhamussua, Mozambique. Photo: Irish Aid
Irish Aid funds a CARE* programme in Mozambique, which seeks to enhance food security by giving farmers the knowledge and training to adapt to climate change. The programme also aims to empower the most vulnerable, in particular women, across households, communities and local authorities
Mozambique is considered to be highly vulnerable to climate change. 75% of the country’s population depend on agriculture for a living but increasing temperatures and erratic rainfall are causing droughts and crop failures.
To address these problems and improve household food security, programme farmers are trained on the use of a mixed intercropping system, which employs conservation agriculture techniques.
Conservation agriculture is an organic way of farming that does not rely on artificial fertilisers or pesticides, but rather on organic matter for fertiliser and weed control. These conservation techniques are taught to farmers through the use of Farmer Field Schools, where farmers learn how to diversify their crops for increased yields.
Food security is improved by training farmers on the use of a mixed intercropping system
The programme also supports the development of the cashew nut sector in Mozambique. As well as improved production and marketing techniques, participating households and producer groups are supported to process raw cashew nuts at household or group level. Elsewhere, the programme supports improved chicken health management for chicken farmers.
In addition, the programme has a focus on giving women more input into decision making at different stages of the cashew nut value chain.
Efforts aimed at generating non-farm and non-natural resource-based incomes are also promoted, including through community-based micro-finance that enables access basic finance at an affordable price.
*CARE is an international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that delivers emergency humanitarian relief and long-term international development projects.
Visit the Irish Aid Climate and Development Learning Platform for in-depth information on implementing climate change into development programming. This platform is a collaborative initiative involving Irish Aid and the International Institute for Environment and Development.
This article is part of a Climate Action series focusing on the work of Irish Aid to help poor communities tackle the effects of climate change, published as the UN Climate Conference takes place in Paris.