MOZAMBIQUE – The Mozambican government has expanded the scope of the Cotton Institute of Mozambique which oversees operations in the sector to incorporate oilseeds, forming the new government agency, Cotton and Oilseeds Institute of Mozambique (IAOM).

The IAOM is intended to promote the production, marketing, processing and export of oilseeds. It will also improve food and nutritional security, and generate more jobs and income in the countryside.

According to the Minister of Agriculture, Celso Correia, the Institute will no longer concentrate exclusively on cotton, but would also turn its attentions to soya, sunflower and sesame.

Currently Mozambican exports of vegetable oil earn the country US$150 million a year, but Minister Correia believes that the southern African market alone could bring in a billion dollars a year.

“Right now, we are exporting sesame to Japan and it is used to make one of the vegetable oils most appreciated in that market. But we are not producing sunflower oil in sufficient amounts to satisfy our domestic requirements,” he highlighted.

With this strategic orientation, Mozambique will be producing vegetable oils in a structured manner through the national systems.

Correia added that, in the next 30 days, the government should present a specific strategy for boosting sesame and sunflower production, reports AIM.

In addition to the establishment of IAOM, the government has likewise expanded the activities of the Cashew Promotion Institute to include other nut crops particularly macadamia forming, the Institute of Nuts of Mozambique (IAM).

There is an expanding market for macadamia nuts, and the government wants to see it become a significant cash crop in Mozambique.

According to the International nuts and dried foods statistical year book , the global edible nuts market accounted for US$ 88.94 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach around US$ 92.1 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of around 3.5% between 2019 and 2026.

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