Increasing economic resilience through mixed farming with maize and poultry in Northern Mozambique

O.C. Caillouet, L.L. Nalley, A.L. Farmer
With a rapidly growing population and arable land declining, sustainable agriculture is pivotal to food security in sub-Saharan Africa. Food security issues for subsistence farmers in most low-income countries are a product of both endogenous (crop yields) and exogenous (currency fluctuations) factors. In Mozambique the value of the Metical has decreased by 37% since January 2016. While this makes domestically produced products more attractive in a relative sense it negatively affects those agricultural industries which rely on imported inputs such as feed and fertilizer. Large scale poultry production in Mozambique is still in its infancy, but is necessary to providing inexpensive protein to one of the most protein deficient parts of the world. The decline of the Metical has curtailed historically cheaper poultry imports from South Africa and Brazil, thus helping local poultry producers, but has come at a steep price as the majority of feed (soya and maize) has to be imported. In response to this exogenous currency crisis, research was conducted in Nampula, Mozambique on the most efficient method for implementing maize production to reduce the risk that accompanies the devaluation of the local currency to combat food insecurity. The objectives included: 1) perform on-site maize evaluations, and 2) perform a maize crop profitability analysis. Many low-income producers often times prefer income stability over income maximization (Nalley and Barkley, 2010) and as such this study provided poultry producers in Mozambique an insurance tool to smooth revenue from exogenous factors such as currency devaluation. Implementing a program such as this aimed to increase total income as well as reduce income variability. Our results indicated that if small scale poultry producers could raise maize on small plots they could earn additional income and stabilize domestic prices of maize, which could increase food security and producer livelihoods.
Caillouet, O.C., Nalley, L.L. and Farmer, A.L. (2019). Increasing economic resilience through mixed farming with maize and poultry in Northern Mozambique. Acta Hortic. 1246, 93-102
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1246.13
sustainable, Africa, maize, poultry, stability, imports, risk