As Sub-Saharan Africa’s 10th
largest economy, which translates to just under 25 million people, Mozambique’s domestic consumer market is relatively small. But as a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), investors in the country gain access to the larger southern African region. Yet the sector has not received the same attention given to agriculture sectors in neighboring countries to the west and north, particularly Zambia and Tanzania.
Mozambican domestic production currently fails to meet local needs. The country is endowed with a range of climatic conditions, thus providing an opportunity for a diverse range of agricultural production. Its geographical position opens it to markets in the Middle East and Asia. But the country still imports more than it exports in many agricultural sectors.
Mozambique has the 3rd highest rice consumption is the SADC, most of it imported. Demand for rice, growing at 6 to 7 percent per year, indicates an expanding gap between demand and production. Experts estimate that poultry consumption, particularly chicken, could double in the next 5 to 7 years. Studies routinely show a local preference for the locally produced chicken, but production costs, largely due to high feed costs, keep prices 15 percent above that of the imported Brazilian chicken in Maputo, and up to 25 percent higher outside the major cities.
The potential for feed production, including soy extraction, and distribution is emphasized by studies that show potential margins above 20 to 25 percent. Packaging and downstream manufacturing of certain cash crops – including cashews, tobacco and sugar – has potential for boosting value for the agricultural sector.