Maputo Sizzles: Heatwave Scorches Crops, Threatens Food Security


A relentless heatwave has gripped Maputo province, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake. Agricultural land has borne the brunt of the scorching temperatures, with farmers facing significant crop losses and potential food shortages.

The sweltering conditions have particularly impacted smallholder farmers who rely on rain-fed agriculture. “The heat is unlike anything we’ve seen before,” said Elias Macie, a farmer in Matola municipality. “Our crops are wilting under the sun, and the irrigation canals are running dry.”

Lettuce, cabbage, and other low-lying vegetables have been hardest hit. Corn and peanuts, grown in slightly higher elevations, haven’t been spared either. “We’re looking at a significant shortfall in vegetable supply for Maputo’s markets,” said Alexandre Honwana, president of the Union of Farmers’ Associations in the Green Zones of Matola. “This could drive up prices and make fresh produce less accessible for many families.”

Experts are concerned that the heatwave could exacerbate existing food insecurity issues in Mozambique. The country has a long history of climate-related challenges, including droughts and floods. “These extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe due to climate change,” said Dr. Isabel Marques, a climate change researcher at Eduardo Mondlane University. “We need to invest in climate-smart agriculture practices to ensure the long-term sustainability of our food systems.”

The government has yet to announce any specific measures to address the heatwave’s impact. However, there are concerns that some farmers may struggle to replant for the next season due to financial constraints.

“This is a double blow for our farmers,” said Amelia Nhantumbo, a food security advocate. “They’ve lost their crops, and now they may not have the resources to start again. We need urgent government assistance to support them through this difficult time.”

The scorching temperatures are a stark reminder of the vulnerability of Mozambique’s agricultural sector to climate change. As the heat intensifies, so too does the need for innovative solutions to protect food security and the livelihoods of millions of Mozambicans.

Also Read: Malawi’s Food Revolution: Why Women Are the Key Ingredient

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Moz- Agri

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