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Mozambique owns up to funding quagmire

APA

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Mozambican Prime Minister Alberto Vaquina has acknowledged that the country currently faces difficulties to obtain the kind of funding required to drive its development forward.Speaking at the opening of the Third African Green Revolution Forum in Maputo late on Thursday, Vaquina blamed the situation on the reluctance of commercial banks to grant loans to small and micro companies.

He said as a result of this funding constraint the growth of the agricultural sector has been stifled, calling for greater investment in the sector.

“The contribution of the agricultural sector to Gross Domestic Product should exceed the current figure of 23 percent. The sector should be increasingly important in the economic development of Mozambique” Prime Minister Vaquina remarked.

He said the entire African continent still faces problems of poverty and food insecurity thanks to low agricultural productivity, inadequate diversification of crops and the degradation of natural resources.

However, the African Union (AU) Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Rhoda Peace, claimed the continent was making “noteworthy progress” in the sector with the implementation of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

The programme was adopted by the AU in Maputo in 2003, under which African leaders pledged to allocate at least 10 percent of their budgets to agriculture, and to ensure an annual growth rate of six percent for the sector.

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