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Erasmo Muhate named Agriculture Minister

03 March 2007, Joe Hanlon's Mozambique Newsletter
URL: http://www.open.ac.uk/technology/mozambique


MAPUTO:  Agriculture Minister Tomas Mandlate was dismissed Friday 23 February by President Armando Guebuza and replaced by a ministry insider, Erasmo Muhate.
Tomas Mandlate is the first minister to be dismissed by President Armando Guebuza; he seems to have made no impact on a difficult ministry that is key to rural development, and his replacement was predicted.

The new Agriculture Minister is Erasmo Muhate, a ministry insider who was previously director of the Mozambican Cotton Institute. AIM suggests that "Muhate's chief qualification must certainly be that for years he has dealt with the business side of agriculture, and the delicate negotiations (notably over prices) between cotton companies and the peasant farmers who grow most of the country's cotton."

In a press conference, Muhate said food production will be the priority. He stressed that Mozambican farmers must make the technological "leap from the simple hoe to the plough, animal traction and then mechanisation." Emphasis will be put on commercial farms, both individual and peasant associations.

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