The number of food insecure people in Mozambique continues to be a "talking point" and does not meet with consensus

Números de pessoas em insegurança alimentar em Moçambique continua a ?dar de falar? e não reúnem consensos

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development says that more than 16 million Mozambicans have their food security guaranteed, but there is no consensus about that number because there is still a significant percentage of the population extremely vulnerable to chronic and acute food insecurity.

Celso Correia, speaking at the presentation of the results of the post-harvest food security assessment-2022, in Maputo, recognizes that about one million Mozambicans need urgent food aid.

The governor, apparently reacting to criticism from some civil society organizations for stating in Rome that more than 90% of Mozambicans have three meals a day, stressed that more than 16 million people have their food security guaranteed.

Meanwhile, Mariam Abbas, coordinator of the Food Security portfolio at the Organization Observatory of the Rural Environment (OMR), told VOA, that there is still a significant percentage of the Mozambican population vulnerable to chronic and acute food insecurity.

Furthermore, Abbas questions whether current public policies promote a diet and meals that are nutritionally adequate and sufficient in quality and quantity.

Will these policies solve the problem of hunger in Mozambique? wonders Mariam Abbas.

For that social activist, the high rates of poverty, chronic malnutrition, and food insecurity associated with economic and social imbalances, which culminate in low levels of per capita income and human development, reveal that they do not.

She notes that in general, current public policies, particularly those in the agriculture sector, have proven to be maladjusted and exclusionary, that is, not adapted to the local context and reality, adding that these policies have mostly benefited economic elites, aiming to respond to private economic interests, economic elites and external markets, which do not aim to solve the problem of hunger and food insecurity.

Mariam Abbas emphasizes that the search for improved food security in the country requires the existence of public policies oriented to the internal market, adapted to local needs, with the small farmer as the main beneficiary of the policy, and based on the principles of food sovereignty.

It should be noted that during the presentation of the results of the 2022 post-harvest food security assessment, Celso Correia accused the Foundation for Community Development (FDC), of social activist and former first lady Graça Machel, of wanting to perpetuate an image of poverty in Mozambique.

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