South African farmers eyeing opportunities in Mozambique

Many South African farmers have indicated an interest to start operations in Mozambique, according to agricultural union Agri SA.

“A request received in November 2010 at an agricultural investment conference in Xai-Xai in the Gaza province of Mozambique to the effect that South African farmers should register their interest in writing with Agri SA, had attracted wide response,” Agri SA said in a statement.

“From the enquiries received it seems that most of the farmers were interested in cattle and goat farming, the production of sugar, fruit, vegetables and grain as well as in irrigation farming,” the organisation added.

Agri SA said that although land is relatively cheap in Mozambique, the establishment of land use rights is a lengthy and taxing process. “The process commences when a prospective land user identifies the land and negotiates with the local traditional leader to register such a right (usually for 50 years).”

An association of South African farmers in Mozambique called AgriSaMoz is also set to launch later this year. Agri SA said a pilot committee for AgriSaMoz decided at meeting held on 14 January in Maputo to officially launch the organisation in May 2011.