The IntercropVALUES research project is being implemented in Mozambique since November 2023 by the University Eduardo Mondlane in collaboration with CIRAD. The case study of Mozambique is one of the 13 Co-Innovation Case Studies (CICS) under implementation in 15 countries covering Africa, Europe, and Asia. In Mozambique, the first Stakeholders workshop took place in Bilene, southern Mozambique, on the 15th March 2024. Stakeholders representing diverse sectors, including farmers, researchers, extension officers, policymakers, and industry experts convened to discuss the role of intercrops in the agri-food value chain and, draw key recommendations for its promotion.

Picture above: A presentation of the concepts of ecosystem services and trade-offs among ecosystem services in agriculture at the “Stakeholders engagement workshop”, organized as part of the Co-Innovation Case Study of IntercropVALUES project. This session was followed by a lively debate on the messages of extension service regarding current and possible future intercropping in the coastal area of Inhambane & Gaza provinces in Mozambique.

The workshop began with an explanation of the project in Mozambique, with a focus on the objectives and participatory methodology for engaging all relevant stakeholders, followed by a presentation on the potential benefits and trade-offs of intercropping. The third presentation shared the results of a participatory diagnosis of intercropping systems in southern Mozambique.

Participants were motivated through interactive sessions and shared insights from their experiences and highlighted successful stories of intercropping practice. Intercropping systems were recognized as a way to manage the risk of crop loss, and labour saving, among others, and improve food security while promoting environmental sustainability and resilience. The participants acknowledged the soundness of intercropping as a traditional practice among small-scale subsistence farmers and the need to promote appropriate technologies to foster its sustainability and integration in the agrifood value chain. Furthermore, they pointed out the inadequate intervention of the extension services or lack of supportive policy frameworks.

The workshop concluded by recognising the importance and relevance of the stakeholder’s forum to discuss intercropping systems and, recommended that the extension services need to adjust the intervention strategy taking into consideration farmers’ profiles to ensure effectiveness for both small-scale subsistence and market-oriented farmers.

This news item was written by Sebastião Famba and Nicia Giva, from the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique.