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Mozambique : parer aux inondations grâce à une agriculture résiliente aux aléas du climat

18-déc-2018

Thanks to the combined actions of the African Development Bank, the Climate Investment Funds – for which the Bank is one of the implementing agencies – and other development partners, Mozambique, the third-ranked African country for exposure to climate hazards, has decisively embarked on the path towards a climate-change resilient future.

One particularly urgent issue for Mozambique is that it is the only country in Africa at high risk of every one of the principal negative impacts of global warming: drought, flooding and coastal cyclones. These hazards have cost the country an average of 1.1% of GDP and have produced repercussions that go beyond the economic to the human: every year from 2000 to 2013, three out of four Mozambican farmers lost harvests or livestock. 

Beyond the figures, human suffering

In 2000, Mozambique suffered its worst flooding in 150 years, causing the deaths of nearly 800 people, the displacement of 540,000 people and the loss of 20% of GDP. Eleven years later, Mozambican Deputy Minister for the Coordination of Environmental Affairs, Ana Chichava, sounded the alarm. "Our projections for the future confirm that if nothing is done, about a million people will be displaced from coastal areas over the next thirty years. Looking beyond these figures, there will be human suffering on an unimaginable scale."

In support of the Climate Investment Funds, which provide accelerated funding procedures for emergency situations like these, in 2012 the African Development Bank invested US$35.2 million in support of populations threatened by flood, in the form of a $23.4 million loan under the African Development Fund and US$11.8 million under the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR). The purpose of this funding was to support agricultural production in the south of the country and improve the quality of life of some 8,200 farming families (a total of some 40,000 beneficiaries), while helping them tackle the impacts of climate disruption. 

Filomena Alfredo Xandlala is a market gardener in Chongoene district in southern Mozambique, a few kilometres inland from the ocean. Her community suffered terribly from the record floods of 2000, with 50 dead and more than 50,000 people displaced. That year, hundreds of families were left without food aid, due to the difficulties rescuers had in accessing areas badly hit by the floods. Filomena lost her entire rice crop and, seeing no way back, decided to leave agriculture for good. A difficult period followed when she only survived thanks to an emergency aid programme set up by the Government.

Ten years later, this mother with 18 children, and many grandchildren, is being taught by members of her community about the implementation of the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience project and how it is possible to get back into farming. There is one condition: to be trained in sustainable agriculture.

Filomena Xandlala a repris goût à l'agriculture après une formation

Climate-smart agriculture

Climate-smart agriculture is one of the elements of the programme launched in 2012 within the Baixo Limpopo Climate Resilience Pilot Project, which organises training in smart agriculture, enabling small farmers to learn how to adapt to climate change. The project also provides for the introduction of new climate-resistant seeds, the improvement of rural roads, the climate-resilient refurbishment of irrigation and drainage infrastructure and facilities for the processing and storage of vegetables.

Thus, in 2013, Filomena and 479 other farmers from Chongoene enrolled on one of the training courses, which taught them how to manage their crops all year round, how to irrigate in the event of flooding, maintain water levels, combat weeds, and use fertilizer. Six months later, this proud grandmother had gained new skills. And now that she has returned to agriculture, she is convinced that her new knowledge will help her achieve better yields.

« Ce projet nous a beaucoup appris sur l’agriculture et nous sommes impatients d’avoir de meilleures récoltes. Je suis optimiste pour l’avenir », lance-t-elle, le sourire désormais accroché aux lèvres.

Et son optimisme semble faire écho aux résultats du projet sur le terrain : la réfection des infrastructures d’irrigation et de drainage sur un périmètre de 2 000 hectares, l’aménagement de 1 050 hectares de terres, ont permis au Mozambique de produire 754 287 tonnes de légumes en 2016, dont près de la moitié en provenance des régions sud du pays. Une performance notable et un modèle de réussite que la Banque africaine de développement a souhaité poursuivre et étendre à d’autres régions. En août 2018, l’institution panafricaine a ainsi appuyé le gouvernement mozambicain dans la mobilisation de 44 millions de dollars américains en faveur du secteur horticole.

Ce financement est destiné à booster la production et promouvoir le stockage et la transformation de légumes dans le système d’irrigation du Bas-Limpopo. Le gouvernement entend ainsi assurer le fonctionnement du système d’irrigation, la gestion des infrastructures hydrauliques, des terres et des ressources en eau pour la production de légumes tout au long de l’année.

Dans le cadre de ce projet, une unité de transformation de légumes d’une capacité de 20 à 25 tonnes par jour, aujourd’hui en cours de construction, devrait entrer en service en juin 2019. L’usine achètera des légumes aux producteurs, qui seront lavés, sélectionnés, calibrés, emballés et stockés. L’unité est bâtie à Xai Xai, sur une superficie de 2 114 mètres carrés, 400 mètres carrés étant destinés aux bureaux et aux entrepôts. Ce sont 8 000 producteurs qui bénéficieront ainsi de nouveaux débouchés pour la vente de leurs produits.

Finalement, une mobilisation exceptionnelle des partenaires au développement du Mozambique, parmi lesquels la Banque africaine de développement, a progressivement permis d’atténuer les dommages causés régulièrement dans le pays par les effets du changement climatique.

Une canalisation dans le district de Chongoene pour éviter les inondations dans les plantations

 

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