Mozambique: Electricity Network Extension to Support Revival of Rubber Production

The Mozambican government will submit a proposal by the end of June to the Indian government seeking funds for the extension of the electricity network in the centre of the country to support the revival of rubber production.

The project to extend the electricity grid to Tacuane, in Lugela district, in the province of Zambezia, is expected to cost four million US dollars. The forty kilometre extension will supply power to the company “Holding Mozambique” which is developing the rubber project.

According to the daily newspaper Noticias, Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco said that the extension of the grid would have a very large socio-economic impact, not only for rubber production but also for the 2,000 families living in the area.

Pacheco explained that rubber production was launched in the 1980’s in Gurue district. However, it was not successful due to the war of destabilisation (which was waged by Renamo at the behest of the minority regimes in Rhodesia and apartheid South Africa until 1992).

The minister wanted to encourage this type of investment due to the multiplier effect creating employment and stimulating other small and medium size businesses.

Holding Mozambique will invest 12 million dollars in developing rubber production over an area of four thousand hectares. According to the company’s director, Jose Parayank, the first phase covers 64 hectares. So far, the company has invested in rebuilding infrastructure, buying machinery and compensating three hundred families. It currently employs 300 seasonal and permanent workers.

The project began in 2013 with the planting of the first fields and the construction of an irrigation system in Tacuane. The plants will only begin to produce rubber after seven years. However, the company estimates that the yield could be worth eleven thousand dollars per hectare.

Rubber trees can grow to more than seven metres high with a diameter of over thirty centimetres. They have a lifespan of between 25 and 30 years.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambiqu