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Cablegate: U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Visits

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MAPUTO 000308

SIPDIS
STATE FOR AF/S TREGER AND O/GAC - KRAPPOSELLI
USDA FOR DEPUTY SECRETARY AND UNDER SECRETARY BOST
USDA FAS FOR HRAPSKY
PRETORIA FOR AG COUNSELOR AND AG ATTACHE
MBABANE FOR DSDORSEY
USAID FOR AFR/SA DMENDELSON
USAID for AFR/SD - HSUKIN
USDOC FOR RTELCHIN
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR EAID KHIV ECON ETRD MZ HIV AIDS PEPFAR
SUBJECT: U.S. DEPUTY SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE VISITS
MOZAMBIQUE

REF: Maputo 173

1. Summary: On February 15-18, a high-level USDA
delegation, led by Deputy Secretary James Moseley, visited
Mozambique to gain a better understanding of International
Baby Food Network (IBFAN)-funded activities on
breast-feeding, infant feeding and nutrition. USDA is
reviewing IBFAN's 2004 Proposal "Helping HIV-Positive
Parents in Africa In Making Infant Feeding Decisions for
or
2005-2009" prior to making a decision whether to fund IBFAN
activities. Additionally, the delegation visited
agriculture and development projects receiving USG
technical and financial assistance. End Summary.

2. On February 15-18, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture
James Moseley, and Under Secretary for Food Nutrition and
Consumer Services Eric Bost visited Mozambique to review
the work of Reencontro, a Mozambican NGO that represents
IBFAN in Mozambique. Additionally, the U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) delegation met with Ajuda de
Desenvolvimento de Povo Para Povo (ADPP) Mozambique, a USDA
P.L. 480 Food for Progress Partner, and visited a sweet
potato and cassava research center and a citrus orchard in
Southern Mozambique supported through USAID-funded
technical assistance programs.

--------------------------------------------- --------------
AN INTRODUCTION TO HIV/AIDS AND FOOD SECURITY IN MOZAMBIQUE
--------------------------------------------- --------------
3. Upon arrival in Mozambique, Ambassador La Lime, Centers
for Disease Control (CDC) Country Director Alfredo Vergara,
and members of the USAID Rural Incomes, HIV/AIDS and Health
Teams greeted the USDA delegation. Over lunch, the
Ambassador gave a broad overview of political, economic,
and social issues in Mozambique, including the country's
battle against HIV/AIDS. She noted that Mozambique is
unique in that it qualifies for assistance under both the
President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the
Millennium Challenge Account. HIV/AIDS prevalence in
Mozambique has risen from 3.3 percent in 1992 to almost 15
percent in 2004. An estimated 1,400,000 adults (ages 15-49)
are living with HIV/AIDS. At the end of September 2004,
5,600 adults were on ARVs and that number has risen to over
8,000 in March 2005 and will continue to increase with
expanded support for HIV/AIDS programs from the U.S. and
many other donors. The estimated number of AIDS orphans in
Mozambique is 273,000. Eleven million of the country's
18.5 million people live in poverty; a significant number
of households are continuously at risk of food insecurity.

--------------------------------------------- ---
A VISIT TO ADPP USDA FOOD FOR PROGRESS PARTNER
--------------------------------------------- ---
4. In the afternoon, the delegation received a warm welcome
from students at the Ajuda de Desenvolvimento de Povo Para
Povo (ADPP) Mozambique teacher training college (ADPP has
been working in Mozambique for 23 years). Planet Aid, a
U.S. branch of the Danish organization Humana People to
People, began a Food for Progress Partnership Program with
USDA in 2004. Planet Aid's Mozambican NGO counterpart,
ADPP Mozambique, is managing the implementation of the
program. The three-year P.L. 480 Food for Progress program
is funded by the monetization of 9,000 metric tons of
soybean oil and the distribution of 990 metric tons of
nutritional soy products, including soy flour and soy
protein, to rural communities.

5. The ADPP Mozambique country director gave a brief
presentation on the objectives of the Food for Progress
Program. The soybean oil sale proceeds are being used to:
- Educate 200,000 people in HIV/AIDS-affected communities
about the disease and prevention methods based on the Total
Control of Epidemic (TCE) program;- Recruit and train 450
rural primary school teachers;
- And implement agricultural economic development in
connection with ADPP teacher training colleges and 180
primary schools.

6. ADPP is using the 990 metric tons of soy products for
two types of direct feeding programs to counter the affects
of HIV/AIDS in communities. ADPP has identified 200 field
officers and will train them, according to TCE standards,
to distribute highly nourishing soy products and to provide
home-based care and nutrition services for HIV/AIDS-
affected patients and families. Additionally, ADPP is
opening 50 soy canteens that will provide low-cost
nutritious meals in poor communities. The canteens are
providing low-cost meals available to all members of the
community; however, meals are provided free of charge to
orphans and AIDS patients.

7. The Maputo teacher training college is currently
preparing 150 young teachers to teach in rural primary
schools.

--------------------------------------------- ---
A GLIMPSE OF REECONTRO'S ACTIVITIES IN THE FIELD
--------------------------------------------- ---
8. On Wednesday, February 16, the delegation arrived at
Reencontro headquarters, where over sixty Reencontro
community activists, nurses, and young mothers met them.
(Note: Reencontro is the Association for Support and
Development of AIDS orphaned children. End Note.) Led by
Reencontro President and IBFAN Coordinator for Lusophone
Countries, Olinda Mugabe, the group surveyed various
professional skill development activities for orphan
children, including sewing and ceramic making projects.

9. Following this, several Reencontro community groups
briefed the delegation on their activities. Reencontro
supports HIV/AIDS infected mothers by sending nurses into
the field to advise mothers on breast-feeding and infant
and child feeding options. Reencontro also provides
assistance to infected mothers through home-based care
visits and medical assistance. Reencontro supports
HIV/AIDS orphaned children by identifying vacancies in
schools, paying school fees, materials, and uniforms,
providing food, clothing, and medical assistance, and by
identifying community members who can act as substitute
families.

10. Reencontro is composed of several support groups
community activists; a youth group that speaks to children
in schools about the prevention of teen pregnancy, sexually
transmitted diseases, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS; a
children's group that discusses nutrition, infant care, and
the roles and responsibilities of men and women in the
family; and a men's group that visits communities and
shares information on breast-feeding, infant feeding and
nutrition. Approximately 1,450 HIV/AIDS orphans in Maputo
City and 1,000 in Xai-Xai, the capital of Gaza province,
benefit from Reencontro's work.

11. The delegation visited five households aided by
Reencontro in the outskirts of Maputo City. The visits to
HIV/AIDS infected mothers and orphaned families
demonstrated how Reencontro community activists support
children heads of household, find substitute families for
orphaned children, and build new homes for orphaned
families.

--------------------------------------
UMBELUZI AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH CENTER
--------------------------------------
12. On February 17, Deputy Secretary Moseley visited the
Umbeluzi Agricultural Research Center. The government's
National Institute for Agricultural Research (INIA) manages
the research center. At the Umbeluzi facility, SARRNET
(Southern Africa Root and Tuber Crops Research Network)
multiplies and distributes high yielding and improved
nutritional varieties of sweet potatoes and cassava. The
Umbeluzi Center serves as one of six primary multiplication
sites across Mozambique.

13. The Umbeluzi facility has also been used to develop,
test and promote the use of processed products from sweet
potato and cassava, in close collaboration with government,
private sector, and interested NGOs. Six U.S. PVOs (World
Vision, Food for the Hungry, Africare, CARE, Save the
Children and Adventist Development and Relief Agency
International) are currently partners with USAID in a
series of large food security activities in four northern
and central provinces, and are primary conduits through
which planting material is passed on to an
estimated 450,000 participating farm families.

14. The SARRNET activity in Mozambique builds on successful
experiences in neighboring countries. Moreover, it expands
the model to include greater emphasis on improving Vitamin
A intake through the promotion of orange-flesh sweet
potatoes, as well as on enhanced value-added processing of
cassava and sweet potato for income generation.

-----------------------
A CITRUS SUCCESS STORY
-----------------------
15. Lastly, Deputy Secretary Moseley visited Citrum, a
successful citrus farm owned and operated by Mozambicans
exporting quality Star Ruby grapefruit to Europe.

16. With the assistance of TechnoServe, a US-based non-
profit development organization, the owners Paulo and Alex
Negrao were able to purchase the citrus plantation through
a privatization tender from the Government of Mozambique in
2002. TechnoServe assisted the Negraos in developing a
business plan, an export marketing strategy, and helped the
business obtain some debt and equity financing from a local
financial services company and a US private investor.
TechnoServe also helped Citrum negotiate market linkages
with EU fruit importers.

17. Citrum employs nearly 300 full and part-time employees.
The Negraos took a defunct citrus plantation and, in two
years, rehabilitated over 30,000 trees, refurbished both
packing houses, and raised export levels to 72% of
production, up from 18% under the estate's previous
management. This translates to 33,000 cartons of star ruby
grapefruit exported in 2003. No single carton has been
rejected by international export boards, either in
Mozambique or at European ports. Citrum could see
substantial increases in profit margins in 2005 with
capital investment for new tools and equipment. Citrum has
not as yet been able to replace any of the machinery that
came with the estate when they acquired it in 2002, most of
which is over 30 years old. With increased capital
investment, Citrum has the potential to be the primary
catalyst for growth and development for the entire Boane
region.

-----------
REFLECTIONS
-----------
18. USDA's visit to Mozambique shed light on the positive
work that IBFAN is doing to promote breast-feeding, infant
nutrition and care for HIV/AIDS infected mothers and
orphans. Despite all the work being done to combat HIV/AIDS
and provide nutritional help to infected families and
orphaned children, people living with HIV/AIDS and orphans
continue to face serious difficulties in securing adequate
food supplies. Site visits to Umbuluzi Agricultural
Research Center and Citrum underscored the importance of
USG technical and financial assistance to improve
agricultural production and entrepreneurship in Mozambique.
LA LIME

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