Where We Work Mozambique
After a devastating cyclone in 2019, which decimated farmland throughout the central region of the country and affected hundreds of thousands of people, Mozambique is working to recover from widespread destruction and rebuild its economy. Prior to the cyclone, Mozambique was already considered one of the most underdeveloped countries—ranking in the bottom 10 countries in the world on the UN’s Human Development Index—making the cyclone’s impact even more severe. However, Mozambique’s rich natural resources and farmland, combined with its advantageous geography that makes it an essential country for regional trade, hold significant potential. These resources have the power to support economic growth and improve livelihoods for some of the lowest-income families. Over the next decade, investing in agricultural development, especially climate-resilient agriculture, will be essential to build and protect the livelihoods of Mozambican families.
Mozambique by the Numbers
- 30.4M total population
- 63% of the population lives in rural areas, and 70% of the workforce is employed in agriculture
- 62% of people live on less than $1.90/day
- 33% of people have an account at a financial institution
- 52% of children complete primary school
Opportunity in Mozambique
Opportunity’s programs in Mozambique are designed to serve vulnerable populations like small-scale farmers, women, and youth. As Mozambicans continue to recover from Cyclone Idai, they are working to rebuild businesses and farms and ensure that their children can stay in school.
In response, Opportunity is investing in initiatives like:
- Training farmers to increase their outputs and their income through better agricultural practices.
In Mozambique, many of the families Opportunity serves are farmers who raise poultry or grow staple crops such as maize, cassava, cabbage, and beans. Most farmers, especially women, are producing far below their potential and remain vulnerable to climate shocks. Opportunity helps these farmers receive training in good agricultural practices, access loans to invest in better, more resilient seed, and connect to sellers who will purchase their crops at a fair price.
- Promoting gender equality for farming families so that women have the opportunity to be productive members of the local economy, too.
Mozambique struggles to provide equal opportunities to women, ranking in the bottom 10 countries in the world on the UN’s Gender Equality Index. Opportunity equips women to participate in the economy by training rural farming households on women’s empowerment. When women are excluded from decision-making on a family farm, they are often left out from learning agricultural best practices, lack agency to negotiate and purchase inputs or sell crops, and lack confidence to participate equally in local cooperatives. Opportunity trainings educate entire households on the importance of empowering women as equal participants, who then become more skilled farm laborers, farm managers, and leaders—resulting in more productive, more successful farms.
Katarina and her husband live in a small town in Mozambique, surrounded by farmers. For years, they struggled to provide for their six kids. They didn’t have particular skills or training, so they sold rice and oil at the local market, doing whatever they could to survive.
When they received a corn-grinding machine from a friend, Katarina and her husband suddenly had access to a brand-new future. They set up in the courtyard outside of their home and opened a business turning their neighbors’ crops into cornmeal.
This simple machine changed everything for Katarina’s family.
In the same way that the corn grinder was the missing piece Katarina needed to build her small business, Katarina’s business has been the missing piece for her neighbors. Katarina received her own opportunity, then created opportunities for everyone around her. Through one small tool in her courtyard, she built a bridge between her community and the market, connecting farmers with the supplies and relationships they need to survive. Now, other families have futures full of possibilities, too.
Katarina and her husband now manage eight different locations where farmers can grind grain. They employ 16 people and have used their proceeds to send all six of their children to school.