In Mozambique, bananas contribute substantially to the nation’s economy. The country exported US$75 million in bananas in 2015, making it one of the largest exporters of banana in Africa. Like in many other African countries, bananas also make an important staple in the national Mozambican diet.
Commercially produced bananas currently face two major threats to their viability:
Panama Disease Tropical Race 4
and Banana Bunchy Top Virus.
The Government of Mozambique (GOM) and the United States Government (USG) signed an implementation letter agreeing to channel funds through the Ministério da Agricultura e Segurança Alimentar (MASA) to TechnoServe (TNS) to manage a matching grants facility to address these threats to the Mozambican banana industry. The initiative is financed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
BANANA INDUSTRY GRANTS FACILITY
The objectives of the Banana Industry Grants Facility (BIGF) are:
Stop further Tropical Race 4 and BBTV infestation and spread in bananas in Mozambique;
Rebuild the economic potential of bananas on the infected farms in Mozambique;
Introduce, adapt and license a new disease resistant variety of banana for the country, for the benefit of existing and new investors.
BIGF focuses on containment, prevention, community engagement, adaptation of a resistant variety to Mozambique, and replanting of lost trees.
The total fund is 262,432,256 MZN (approx. US$4.3 million at an exchange rate of MT60/1US$). Beneficiaries are expected to contribute the equivalent of 50% of the total cost of the investment, unless otherwise specified.
Grants from this fund will provide financing for approved project activities.
The Banana Industry Grants Facility agreement was signed between Ministério da Agricultura e Segurança Alimentar (MASA) and TechnoServe (TNS) on November 8, 2017 and is expected to expire on February 29, 2020.
Since November 2017, 18 grants have been awarded to commercial banana producers, universities, BANANAMOZ and other parties in order to fulfil the objectives set for the BIGF.
The grants can be divided into Prevention, Containment, Replanting and Research grants.
Prevention, Containment or Replanting grants are used to implement activities to prevent and contain infestation of the banana diseases or to restore the economic potential by replanting areas that have been destructed due to infection.
Research grants are used to support important research on topics ranging from finding tolerant banana varieties to developing testing kits but to establishing the socio-economic impact banana diseases have on communities across Mozambique.