Cashew production in Mozambique is the main crop and source of income to more than a million small scale farmers living along the costal area where soils are sandy and inadequate for grains. More than 40% of these farmers are concentrated in Nampula province. The average farmer supply capacity is currently less 100 kg per farmer.
Despite global demand in international markets, cashew production and quality have staggered in the last 5 years in Mozambique. Among other reasons for this staggered production and quality are: old trees, diseases, limited research, weak crop area expansion and poor pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest management practices.
Powdery mildew and anthracnose are the main reported cashew diseases affecting the majority of cashew trees. It is reported that the existing spraying service delivery model, dependent on a local service provider, is costly and of poor quality. Individual farmers have no power over the service provider to demand quality service, negotiate prices and the number of chemical doses/treatments, which are usually less than the recommended minimum of 3 doses per tree.
Despite the fact that chemicals are 100% subsidized by the Ministry of Agriculture supply of spraying services is far from meeting the demand. For instance, in Nampula province, with more than 10 million cashew trees, currently only 2,2 million trees are treated against powdery mildew and anthracnose.
AgriSocius, Lda sees the above challenge as an opportunity for increasing farmer production and yields. The company will provide quality spraying services to farmers through its network of qualified spraying service providers and at relatively lower cost for the farmer, while sustaining its business model by charging a sustainable fee to the farmer, which will be lower than the cost of poorly done spraying services.
AgriSocius will also link farmers to existing export oriented cashew processing companies in Mozambique and negociate higher prices for the farmer.