Since its inception, the SNV OYE programme aims to link rural out-of-school youth with the private sector for employment opportunities. The OYE project in Mozambique has drawn the attention of local government officials who lauded the impact made on young people in the Nampula province.
Late November 2016, the Governor of Nampula Province, Victor Manuel Borges, visited Horti-Sempre – a local business partner of the OYE project in the province. SNV offers technical and entrepreneurship training to young farmers in the fruit trees’ value chains.
Mr Borges commended the OYE- Horti-Sempre partnership and highlighted the importance the government places on the professional cultivation and marketing of fruit trees by rural youth, as a means to promote both youth employment and nutritional diversity in the province through local markets.
In his interaction with the youth, the governor commended the work they were doing and especially their focus on self-employment.
Governor of Nampula Victor Manuel Borges interacts with OYE participants
The governor spoke highly of the technical support and capacity building provided by OYE project. “I see SNV interventions all over the province. The government is happy to acknowledge the innovations SNV is implementing to enhance the agribusiness sector, whilst enabling young people to gain employment and improve their livelihoods,”
The governor and a delegation visited one of Horti-Sempre's outgrower sites, located on a small plot with limited water and poor soil – which is what the youth could afford. The Monapo Director of District Services of Agriculture promised the Governor to provide a better piece of land for the participating young people. That was welcome news for all.
Vice Minister of Industry and Commerce, Ragendra de Sousa (second right)
A group of provincial ministers paid a separate visit to OYE activities in other sectors in Nampula province less than two weeks later. The delegation consisted of the Vice Minister of Industry and Commerce, Ragendra de Sousa; the Administrator of Monapo district; the Provincial Director of Industry and Commerce; the Director of District Economic Services; the Director of the District Education Services; the District Council of Youth; other high-level government officials from the provincial government, and some private sector representatives.
The entourage visited OYE project partner Amarula Farms in Monapo district, where the managing director, Rajiv Singh highlighted the benefits the contract farming scheme between Amarula Farms and the OYE project has for his company.
"SNV is our partner. They train the youth and Amarula Farms provides land for them to produce the grain through contract farming. As a result, we have been able to raise our seeds production while helping young people to build a career in Agriculture and make a living" Mr. Singh told the delegation. OYE Mozambique closed the third project year with more than 100 young people engaged in contract farming with Amarula Farms.
The provincial Vice Minister, Ragendra de Sousa praised the partnership as a great opportunity for young people in the district to grow their careers and improve their livelihoods in commercial farming, with acquired skills and solid linkages with the private sector. He also urged the young people enrolled in the OYE programme to stay committed to agricultural production in order to change their lives structurally while reinvesting profit to increase their area of production and income.
Recently, Amarula Farms has started to sell seeds and other farm inputs to local farmers, an initiative That The Vice-Minister De Sousa welcomed wholeheartedly. He also authorised Amarula farms to start using several nearby abandoned grain silos. Mr. Singh from Amarula farms was glad with this offer and promised to make the silos available to youth farmers engaged in contract farming to enable them to store their sesame harvest and protect it from moisture.
The OYE Mozambique project currently has Memoranda of Understanding with ten agribusiness companies engaged in animal husbandry, seed production, and horticulture. After 3 years of implementation, the project has been able to enrol 3,426 young people, the establishment of 158 new youth-led enterprises. In total 4,454 young people have gained employment in the agriculture sector in Zambezia, Tete and Nampula provinces through the OYE project.