ICEI is operating in Mozambique with 4 agricultural and environmental programmes located in the province of Zambezia, in the Northern-central part of the country:
- Eco-Ilhas, in the district of Pebane, close to the protected area of Primeiras and Segundas Islands, carried out in consortium with the WWF and ORAM
- Florestas, in the district of Mocubela, in consortium with Mani Tese, COSV, Cooperativa Eliante, Carbon Sink, ORAM and UPCZ;
- Quelimane Agricola, in the districts of Quelimane, Nicoadala and Namacurra, in partnership with Mani Tese;
- S.A.C.R.A., in the districts of Morrumbala and Nicoadala, in partnership with CELIM.
Many actions have already been implemented under the Eco-Ilhas and Florestas projects, while Quelimane Agricola and S.A.C.R.A. have just been started.
Under these programmes, ICEI is implementing an innovative farming approach, the Successional Agro- forestry Systems (SAFs), based on the concepts of syntropic agriculture developed by Ernst Gotsch in Brazil nearly 3 decades ago.
The main goal of all these programmes in Mozambique is to increase farming production, both of food and raw materials (wood, vegetal coal), in a sustainable way, without heavily affecting the forest and coastal ecosystems that, notwithstanding their formally protected status, are actually being degraded at an impressive rate.
More in detail, the development of the Eco-Ilhas project has included the implementation of 6 demonstration plots based on the SAF methodology, reaching 120 beneficiaries. In addition, nearly 8 hectares have been restored by reestablishing the original ecosystem. with mangrove forests and dunes.
The project also includes goat raising and fish raising activities: 180 goats were delivered to 4 beneficiary groups in rural communities and 24 tanks were populated with juvenile fish to start tilapia farming.
The project activities also included support to open sea fishing through the delivery of a motorboat and fishing nets to 2 groups of fishers.
Finally, a project’s major achievement was the establishment of the Committees for the Management of Natural Resources, with the aim of increasing participation and the perception of the importance of community involvement, also in view of improving the quality of life.
The Florestas project is focused on the district of Mocubela. Here also 10 demoplots have been implemented with agro- forestry systems, involving 100 beneficiaries from local communities.
Another key action consisted in re-populating 16 hectares of land with mangroves and establishing a mother nursery and a seed bank.
“The activities to be implemented are many. We are now focusing on drilling 10 wells– tells Ambrogio Lamesta, project head in Mozambique, adding: “More recently we finalized two training courses for 50 would-be beekeepers, and the next step will be purchasing beehives. We need 100 transition beehives, a halway model between beehives commonly used in Europe and more basic hives widely used in Mozambique, made up of rolled barks hanged on trees.
We will soon purchase the necessary equipment for beekeepers, that are: masks, smokers, coveralls, scrapers, etc… Then we will build and equip a Honey House! A proper laboratory for honey extraction”.