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WFP supporting local farmers cooperative by purchasing maize from Manica


MAPUTO For the first time in its ongoing emergency operation in Mozambique, the World Food Programme (WFP) has purchased 100 tons of maize from a Mozambican farmer's cooperative in Manica province. The maize will be used as food aid in the districts of Tambara, Guro and Macossa, where WFP is assisting vulnerable people suffering from the second year of drought.

WFP Representative Angela Van Rynbach said, "It is highly important for WFP that the food for our development activities and emergency operations is bought locally. WFP tries to buy as much food as possible in the countries themselves when agricultural production is sufficient and the prices competitive, so that our funds will feed as many people as possible and we support local farmers."

WFP bought the maize from the association Kugarike Tangue Nhamo in the district of Manica, Manica province, with funding from the United Kingdom's contribution. The Mozambican company Sunsmile cleaned and bagged the grains in Chimoio. The US-based NGO ACDI-VOCA, with funding from USAID, organized the transaction.

At the official handover of the maize from the association to WFP in Chimoio, Lynne Miller, Head of WFP Sub-Office in Beira, thanked both the donors and the NGO for their part in the purchase. "It is especially motivating for the farmers to see that their maize will be used to feed other Mozambicans in need, as a way of showing their solidarity," she said on that occasion.

ACDI-VOCA praised WFP's commitment because it enabled the 15 farmers to be trained in accounting and marketing prior to the purchase. The 8 men and 7 women come from the village of Mavonde, in an area considered to be the bread-basket of Manica district.

In August, WFP provided food for 78,000 Mozambicans within its emergency operation. In total 1,500 tons have been distributed for WFP activities such as Vulnerable Group Feeding and School Feeding in primary schools in the drought affected provinces.

The current emergency operation will end in December as the situation in Mozambique after two years of floods and two years of drought is slowly improving, although pockets of hunger still exist. WFP plans to move to a Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) from January 2005 focusing on HIV/AIDS and food insecurity.

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency: in 2003 we gave food aid to a record 104 million people in 81 countries, including 56 million hungry children.

For more information please contact:
WFP office Mozambique, Maputo, Tel. 48 22 00