MAPUTO, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi has urged the Ministry of Industry and Trade to boost simple, accessible and competitive local agro-processing industries in order to add value to crops produced by the country’s peasant farmers.

Speaking when he officiated at the swearing-in ceremony of Ragendra de Sousa as the new Minister of Industry and Trade here last Friday, the president stressed that the Ministry should also improve the agricultural marketing circuits in order to absorb the greater part of peasant production.

Sousa, who was previously the Deputy Minister, replaces Max Tonela, whom Nyusi appointed Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy earlier this month.

Nyusi, who said that marketing should foment the circulation of agricultural production on the domestic and export markets, added: Today, in much of the country, the population is in possession of agricultural surpluses which need to be conserved, transported, sold and processed.”

Reiterating what he mentioned in his State of the Nation Address to the Mozambican parliament on Wednesday, Nyusi said that the 2016-2017 agricultural year had resulted in significant improvements in production and productivity and he expected that in the 2017/2018 agricultural year, the results will be still better.

He challenged Sousa to carry the Mozambican brand to the outside world, boosting the image of the country so as to attract further foreign investment.

To make the country more competitive, Nyusi added, further economic reforms must be implemented, removing barriers that make the business environment difficult. Only thus will we be able to attract the investment so necessary for the advance of Mozambican industry, contributing to the creation and operation of more micro, small and medium enterprises, and generating more jobs, he stressed.

Nyusi also swore into office the new Deputy Foreign Minister, Maria dos Santos Lucas. He said the task of her Ministry is to show the world the potential of Mozambique, despite the difficulties the country currently faces.

In Mozambican diplomacy, the priority is our national interest. We want a vigorous diplomacy, which operates on the principle of always making more friends, which respects other nations and which, above all, ensures that Mozambique is respected, the president added.