mozambiquePrior to independence in 1975 agricultural extension in Mozambique was completely focused on commercial and export cash crop production. The long 16 years of civil war and recurrent drought in the interlands increased migration of population to urban and coastal areas, and also contributed to the degradation of the environment. These destabilizing conditions made it difficult for the government of Mozambique to establish and operate an agricultural extension service network (Gemo & Rivera, 2001). It wasn’t until 1987 that the public extension service in Mozambique was created as one of the four national directorates of the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAG). During its initial phase of development (1989-1992) extension was entirely carried out by the public sector with assistance from international NGOs (Ibis a Danish NGO, GTZ), and the United Nations agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). This establishment phase was characterized by the introduction of the Training and Visit (T&V) approach in few areas around the country (Alage & Nhancale, 2010).

History

A Brief History of Public Extension Policies, Resources and Advisory Activities

The expansion phase of agricultural extension (1993-1997) saw the introduction of a modified Training and Visit extension system; a flexible use of the approach; and an extensive donor support for public and NGO extension that leads to the diversification of extension service providers. In response to the emerging new extension landscape, a National Extension Master Plan (1999-2004) to allow for a pluralistic extension system was developed to focus on the adoption of Unified Extension Services (SUE) encompassing crop production, livestock and natural resource management, and the development of an integrated National Agricultural Extension System (SISNE) with partnership between public and private extension services including outsourcing. The current master plan (2007-2016) been implemented is designed to ensure adoption of decentralization of agricultural extension services to district level, strengthening of a multiple service provider system, and farmer empowerment and outsourcing services (Alage & Nhancale, 2010 and Gemo & Rivera, 2001). The public extension network covers 127 of 128 rural districts, NGOs are present in 91 rural districts, while 50 districts have private extension, but all 128 districts are covered by one or other provider.

The long term goals of the agricultural sector in Mozambique are to improve food security and reduce poverty by supporting the efforts of smallholders, the private sector and governmental and nongovernmental agencies to increase agricultural productivity, agro-processing and marketing, while keeping a sustainable path for the exploitation of natural resources (MADER, 2005). To address food security issues and agricultural productivity, MINAG, through the National Directorate for Agricultural Extension (DNEA) and Provincial Agricultural Extension Services (SPER) has created a good environment to increase the exchange of information and experience among the stakeholders. DNEA is actively involved in the dissemination of agrairian technologies, support and capacity building for farmers’ organizations, technical assistance to the farmers through training on good agricultural practices, formation and capacity building of farmers, and dissemination of information through various Information Communication Technologies (radio, leaflets, and manuals).

Mozambique public extension service has been characterized by great variability in terms of availability of extensionists. But the trend since 2006 has been in the rise with 693 extensionists in 2009 (11% of which were female) compared to 645 in 2005. Due to efforts under a human resource development program training and recruitment of new personnel, more than 95% of the extensionists in 2009 almost are certificate and 4% are BSc. The figure in qualification of the extensionists is a big jump if compared with 2005 when the qualifications varied from a first degree (4%), diploma (59%), and certificate (32%) to others (5%) (Gemo, 2006). Government efforts to increase the number and quality of extension staff  evident and the National Directorate for Agricultural Extension reported that in 2011 Mozambique  public extension comprise 1,342 staff members (Table 1), a considerable increase from a total of 1,252 planed on EMP.

Table 1: Human Resources in the Public Extension Service in Mozambique: Qualification Level and Number of staff in 2010.

Academic Level of Extensionists and Supervisors

Province

Tecnico Superior

Tecnico Medio

Tecnico Basico

Tecnico Elementar

Total

INCAJU (Cashew)

C Maputo

 

7

4

11

22

 

Maputo

4

48

14

 

66

 

Gaza

3

43

7

 

53

 

Inhambane

1

69

5

 

75

10

Manica

 

51

12

 

63

 

Sofala

5

56

6

13

80

10

Tete

1

22

19

 

42

 

Zambezia

4

60

18

 

82

7

Namula

 

72

68

 

140

29

C. Delgado

1

21

54

 

76

 

Niassa

6

19

23

1

49

 

Total

25

468

230

25

748

56

Academic Level (%)

3.3%

62.6%

30.7%

3.3%

   

Source: Direçåo Nacional de Extenså Agraria, DNEA, Via Walter Bowen, persona communication, April 2011

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