To what extent is there still a (knowledge) network around legumes and nitrogen fixation active in your country?
Former N2Africa partners remain engaged in disseminating the N2Africa technologies to farmers mainly through development projects.
To what extent are private sector and/or NGOs still selling/ using / promoting “N2Africa technologies”? Can farmers readily access seeds, inoculants, legume-specific fertilizers?
The N2Africa technologies that have been promoted by the private sector in Mozambique are improved seed of cowpeas and soybean. Yet, other legume crops such as beans are also being sold by the private sector. The main bottleneck still remains the seed quality especially with respect to poor germination. This area still needs more attention if the country wants to see farmers investing in improved seeds.
The use of fertilizers is very limited due to the high costs. Despite having a good harbour and several blending companies, fertilizers prices in Mozambique remain higher than in neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia. This combined with the large amount of available land also leads to extensification rather than intensification. The use of inoculants is limited and farmers access them through development projects rather than through the private sector.
Are there any interesting new developments taking place around legumes and nitrogen fixation?
The SEMEAR project (USAID funded) is being implemented by a consortium of four organizations (IITA, ICRISAT, CIAT and IIAM) to fill the gaps and missing links in the legume value chains. Their focus is on increasing the production and supply of breeder, pre-basic, basic, and certified seeds of common beans, cowpea, groundnut, pigeonpea, sesame, and soyabean and to strengthen the national seed systems. Strengthening the links between the initiatives such as SEMEAR and private sector in vital for long-term sustainability of these interventions.
The real demand for inoculants in Mozambique needs to be assessed, particularly for other legumes apart from soyabean, as beans and groundnuts are more profitable. Further feasibility of intensification using fertilizers at prevailing market prices needs to be evaluated and there remains a need to reinforce the private sector.
Wilson Leonardo, Country coordinator Mozambique