IMG_1707Various agricultural development programs and institutions are working in the various rural communities and have been promoting different ISFM technologies in Mozambique. Currently, progress in agricultural development is being achieved through individual program intervention, but there could be greater success if there were coordinated interventions. A number of national and regional organizations have been established for promoting various nutrient management practices. More recently, consultation among agricultural and non-agricultural partners of the Conservation Agriculture (CA), for instance, have proposed new approaches for improving agricultural productivity that aims to appropriately embed several agricultural research institutions working in partnership with IIAM within broader team under the umbrella of PIAT (Platform for Agricultural Innovation and Technology Transfer) supported by USAID, whereby knowledge from different expertise is integrated and effectively put into use for improving crop productivity and farmers’ income. In recent years, CIAT and CIMMYT have been testing different CA technologies in central Mozambique. The Sustainable Intensification of Maize and Legumes Systems in the Eastern and Southern Africa project (SIMLESA) has extensively promoted maize-bean rotation in the Beira Corridor. The McKnight Foundation has been working for many years in testing bean varieties believed to be highly efficient in P uptake. The IFDC in partnership with Potash Institute and the International Sulphur Institutes has been testing maize response to K- and sulphur-containing fertilizers in major agricultural production areas in Central Mozambique. ICRISAT-Mozambique has tested micro-dosing on maize in the Limpopo basin. Mozambique is among African countries under the AGRA Portfolio 1 countries, due to its high agricultural potential. In the past two years, AGRA has put in place a number of agricultural investments in three major breadbasket regions along the corridors of development in the country aiming to improve food production through the promotion of ISFM innovations. These research works could provide valuable information to the farmers and policy makers for supporting agricultural productivity, but much of the results are not available to the farmers due to lack of coordination and good communication mechanisms among the programs and institutions. Conflicting messages and overlap of experiments by these stakeholders results in duplication of efforts and wastage of resources. Additionally, they confuse farmers and policy makers reducing the potential of resulting innovations to enhance crop productivity, boost food security and household income.

The Soil Health Consortium of Mozambique (SHCM) was established in 2013 with the funding from AGRA to bring all key stakeholders together in harmonizing ISFM information. This consortium will seek to understand, which technologies work best where with the aim of promoting them where they perform best. Expected outcomes of this consortium include:

  • To minimize the duplication of efforts and improve the efficient use of limited resources
  • To enhance collaboration and increase prospects of developing joint communication among stakeholders
  • To standardize protocols for ISFM demonstrations and trials for use by the stakeholders in different locations
  • To bring and build transparency, trust and a clear understanding of programs and projects on soil and land management related issues in the country that are funded by various donors, and thus build synergy and leverage each other’s resources
  • To help collect and collate soil health data that is needed to develop fertilizer recommendations.
  • To develop and strengthen the technical and delivery capacity of the members