Mozambique is one of several African countries to benefit from a loan of $US4.2 billion from the Japanese government for the production of rice and other development initiatives. The other countries are Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria, Kenya, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda.
The Japanese government will also loan US$150 million to finance technical cooperation projects and a further US$100 million to support the World Bank project for the development of rice in Africa.
In Mozambique, the aid will support efforts to end rice imports by the end of 2011 under the national plan for food production 2008/2011, which aims to reduce the deficit in key food products such as rice and wheat by increasing local production. Of the 539,000 tons of rice consumed annually in Mozambique, the country produces only 223,000 tons according to the Mozambican authorities. The rest has to be imported.