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Mozambique Agriculture and Fishing Overview
Agriculture and fishing
The agricultural sector accounts for almost a third of GDP, despite the fact that only ten percent of arable land is used. Most farmers grow for their own use. Common crops are cassava, sugar cane, corn and sweet potatoes.
The government's plans to reduce poverty, modernize agriculture and increase its productivity are supported by foreign donors. But the obstacles are many. One problem is unclear ownership conditions on large land areas.
The government is trying to modernize agriculture and increase its productivity with the support of foreign donors. But the obstacles are many. One problem is unclear ownership. The plans for a large-scale agricultural project, ProSavana, with the support of Brazil and Japan in the Nacala region have sparked protests among local farmers who are getting rid of their cultivated land.
At the same time, Mozambique struggles with irregular rainfall and periods of drought and floods, which often lead to mist growth. In addition, agriculture is limited by major infrastructure shortages, especially in the north.
Since the turn of the millennium, the production of cashews, the country's major export commodity in the 1970s, has seen an upswing with new plantings and factories. Sugar production has also increased sharply, as has the tobacco industry.
Fishing increased in importance in the 1990s, and shrimp were a period the country's most important export product. The catch of tuna is also significant.
FACTS - AGRICULTURE
Agriculture's share of GDP
21.4 percent (2018)
Percentage of land used for agriculture
63.5 percent (2016)
Breakout group within Renamo resort to violence
The largest opposition party, Renamo, takes away from the deadly attacks on the country's roads, which in recent days have claimed at least ten people's lives in the central provinces of Manica and Sofala. The government blames the violence on Renamo and will deploy military cards to protect travelers. Renamo's party leader, Ossufo Momade, rejects the accusations and maintains that the organization intends to follow the August peace agreement (see August 6, 2019). Instead, it is a breakout group from Renamo that has taken on the death. The group calls itself "Renamo's military junta" and does not recognize Momade as a party leader or the peace agreement. Renamo's military junta, calls for new negotiations with the government.
Appeals against the election result are rejected
The Constitutional Court denies the opposition party Renamo's request to cancel the election result. According to the court, the party was not able to provide sufficient evidence that there was widespread cheating and harassment. The EU has also demanded an examination of "irregularities and neglect" that EU observers have noted during the disputed elections (see 15 Oct 2019). Two weeks later, a court ordered 18 local observers to be released. The election observers belonging to the opposition party New Democracy were arrested on Election Day. They were accused of carrying false accreditations. About thirty African and international legal groups have protested against the arrest and demanded the release of election observers.
The violence in the north continues
Four people traveling in a truck are killed in an attack in the province of Cabo Delgado in northern Mozambique. According to witnesses, Islamist extremists are behind the attack. The truck driver and three passengers are killed and several others injured in the attack. The deed follows another assault that happened in the same province a few days earlier. Then ten people. Over the past two years, a wave of violence has swept across the area and a total of 300 people are estimated to have been killed and tens of thousands have been forced to flee (see Oct. 5, 2017 and Apr. 25, 2019).
The opposition puts its hope in the court
The opposition party Renamo submits an official complaint to the electoral authority and requires the Constitutional Court to review the election results. Renamo accuses the incumbent government of "massive electoral fraud" and of breaking the peace agreement through acts of violence and harassment on Election Day. So far, 158 people have been convicted of acting in violation of the electoral law.
Contested election victory for the government
After barely two weeks of voting, the Frelimo government party is declared victorious in the presidential and parliamentary elections on October 15. According to the Election Commission, President Nyusi gets 73 percent of the vote against just under 22 percent for opposition party Renamo's candidate Ossufo Momade. In the parliamentary elections, Frelimo strengthens his already strong position in parliament and wins 44 new seats while Renamo loses 29. Renamo accuses the ruling party of extensive cheating and demands that the election be annulled. According to a spokesman for Renamo, the election was characterized by violence, arbitrary arrests and a number of irregularities surrounding the process itself, such as the election ballot filled with fake ballots. In several provinces, observers were prevented from monitoring the elections, including in the province of Gaza, where the number of voting lengths swelled suspiciously (seeAugust 23, 2019). An EU observer points to unequal conditions between the government and the opposition and says the violence has created a climate of concern about the election. According to local observers, at least ten people have lost their lives - one of Renamo's officials was shot dead with her husband on election day. A few days before, an election observer was killed by a special police force. Frelimo rejects the information about cheating and states that the elections went smoothly.
Voting disputes in important province
The head of the country's statistical office resigns following a dispute with the Election Commission on the number of voters in the province of Gaza in the south. In Gaza, where the Frelimo government party has strong support, there are 300,000 more voting names than the number of voters registered by the Central Statistical Office in the province. With reference to the dwindling number of voters, Gaza has been allocated more seats than in the 2014 election. The opposition suspects that Frelimo is thus trying to secure his majority in parliament.
Cooperation agreement with Moscow
President Nyusi visits his colleague in Moscow and the parties sign agreements on cooperation on security and energy. Russia wants to increase its influence in Africa and Mozambique wants help in extracting its natural gas reserves in the north. In the 1960s, the then Soviet Union supported the liberation struggle against colonial power Portugal. In 2018, the countries agreed that Russia would again send military advisers to Mozambique.
New peace agreement signed
Several years of peace talks end when President Filipe Nyusi and opposition party Renamo's leader Ossufo Modame put their signatures on a paper with the title Maputo's peace and reconciliation agreement. The ceremony is witnessed by other African leaders such as South Africa's President Cyril Rmaphosa and Rwanda's President Paul Kagame. As part of the agreement, Renamo's armed forces of more than 5,200 people will hand in their weapons and the process is already reported to be underway. Some of those disarmed will get jobs in the army or police, others will be given civilian duties. However, a small group within Renamo is committed to counter-protection. They do not recognize Momade as a new leader and refuse to hand in their weapons.
Construction of a gas plant begins
President Nyusi is laying the first stone in the foundation of a giant plant to extract liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the city of Palma in the province of Cabo Delgado at the far north. The plant, which will cost $ 25 billion, will be operated by the US energy company Anadarko. Mozambique has high hopes that exports of natural gas will lift the country out of poverty. The plant is expected to be operational by 2024.
President Nyusi is aiming for re-election
President Filipe Nyusi is named Frelimo's candidate for the October 15 presidential election. Nyusi's main challenger is opposition party Renamo's leader Ossufo Momade.
Islamists convicted of violence in the north
A court sentenced 37 people to long prison sentences for participation in the attacks that radical Islamists have carried out in the province of Cabo Delgado since the fall of 2017. The attacks have claimed around 200 lives. The trial was the first of five linked to the unrest in Cabo Delgado. A total of 200 people were indicted. 143 were acquitted while 20 managed to escape before the trial started.
Surveillance of Islamist insurgency encounters obstacles
Human Rights Watch accuses the government of trying to silence journalists who are monitoring the government's struggle to stop the Islamist uprising in the province of Delgado in the north. According to Human Rights Watch, the government is trying to prevent journalists from entering the violence-affected province and security forces are devoting themselves to intimidating, imprisoning and prosecuting journalists operating there. According to the AFP news agency, around six journalists have been arrested over the past six months, as have drivers, interpreters and other people who worked for the journalists. Two reporters are still incarcerated.
Attack causes concern for natural gas projects
Militant Islamists attack two car columns of workers on their way to their jobs in the gas industry in the city of Palma in the province of Cabo Delgado in the north. One of the workers was beheaded. Five escape with injuries. This is the first time that Islamists are attacking targets linked to the extraction of natural gas in the province. Anadarko, the American company that is leading the project in Palma, requires security guarantees to continue. The attacks raise fears that the violence in the province will stop or delay the planned extraction of natural gas.
Peace talks resume
Peace talks between the government and the opposition party Renamo resume. Renamo put the talks on ice after the local elections in October when Renamo accused the Frelimo government party of cheating (see October 10, 2018). For the first time in over seven months, President Filipe Nyusi and Renamo's leader Ossufo Momade will now meet to discuss how to integrate Renamo's armed branch into the national army and police. Renamo entered into a peace agreement with Frelimo in 1992, but during the years 2013–2016 new battles between the parties were fought.
First domestic arrests in the loan scandal
Five people have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the big scandal that was discovered in 2016 when it emerged that the government had secretly taken a billion loans abroad (see April 2016). Among those now arrested is a former head of the intelligence service and a former assistant to Armando Guebuza who was president when the loans were taken in 2013 and 2014. They are the first people arrested in the country since the scandal became known. Guebuza's son Ndambi is also suspected to be involved and arrested a few days later. The former finance minister who approved the loans was arrested in South Africa in December 2018 at the request of the United States.
The opposition chooses a new leader
Opposition Party Renamo appoints Ossufo Momade as new party leader. Momade has been acting party leader since Renamo's longtime leader Afonso Dhlakama passed away on May 3, 2018. Dhlakama's brother Elias also ran in the party leadership election but received just over half as many votes as Momade.