HANOI, Mozambique wants agriculture to be the anchor for its co-operation with Vietnam so that in the near future it can end its food dependency on the outside world, says Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario.

Expressing this aspiration at a media conference summing up his four-day official visit to Vietnam here Thursday, he said:

We have achieved positive results. Vietnam will expand its activities in Mozambique, placing agriculture as the anchor of co-operation, so that we can gather experiences and emerge from our situation of food dependence.”

Vietnam, Rosario noted, had vast experience in agriculture which had transformed the country from a net importer of food in the 1990s, to one of today’s major exporters of food, thanks to attaining very high levels of agricultural productivity.

For many years, Vietnam had suffered devastating wars against Japanese, French and finally American aggression. Vietnam finally defeated the US in 1975, the same year that Mozambique achieved its independence from Portuguese colonial rule.

Vietnam’s recovery from the devastation of war has been such that, in the first half of 2017 alone, Vietnam exported 20.7 billion US dollars worth of agricultural produce.

We spoke with the government of Vietnam and with the management of Viettel (the Vietnamese telecommunications company which is the main shareholder in Movitel, one of Mozambique’s three mobile phone providers),” said Rosario. Both are ready to bring more farmers for rice, vegetables, cashew nuts and cotton.”

Vietnam had also promised to mobilise investment for maritime transport and mining, among other areas. Rosario said agricultural marketing had been a major topic of discussion with his Vietnamese counterpart.

When we invite investment from robust agricultural companies, it is from the perspective that they are institutions capable of intervening in the entire value chain — in research, production, processing and marketing,” he stressed.

Vietnam has also agreed to increase the number of scholarships for young Mozambicans to study engineering, agriculture, medicine and other disciplines. We asked for the number of scholarships to be tripled, and they accepted our proposal,” said Rosario.