Plant Protection Law
Agricultural products contribute approximately 20% of Mozambique’s total exports, with the main external markets being the European Union (Portugal, Belgium, Spain). South Africa and other countries of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), Switzerland, India and Japan are also destination markets. The main agricultural exports include cotton, sugar, tobacco, copra, cashew nuts, banana, oil products (sunflower, sesame, soy) and spices (paprika and ginger).
The diversification strategy pursued by the Government and the private sector has in recent years led to the growth of sectors such as vegetables, fruit and flowers, in which Mozambique has enormous potential for exports due to favorable agro climatic conditions. Recent studies estimate that the development of horticulture in only one province (Manica) could generate revenues of up to US $2.75 billion per year through commercial and household production. However, the possibility of exploiting such an opportunity can be seriously hampered by the country's inability to comply with the phytosanitary measures of the importing countries. The main problems can be summarized by the inadequate ability to monitor the spread of pests and diseases, perform risk analysis of pests and diseases, perform effective inspections to prevent the entry of quarentenary pests, and perform certification of products for reliable and credible export.
The entity responsible for phytosanitary protection in Mozambique is the Department of Plant Health of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, which is responsible for issuing import licences and phytosanitary certificates for export through the implementation of Phytosanitary Inspection Regulation Decree 5/2009 of June 1st. However, that regulation and its annexes must be updated according to the current phytosanitary conditions including the national list of pests and the list of regulated pests. Furthermore, an overarching Law on Plant Protection could help elevate the importance of advancing plant protection activities in Mozambique, ensuring coordination across ministries, and ensuring proper budget is allocated to plant protection activities.
The international seminar on crop pests and diseases organized by University Eduardo Mondlane and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MASA), held in November 2017 in Mozambique, recommended the development of the Plant Protection Law as a top priority. The Plant Protection Law was also selected by the private sector (through the Confederation of Business Associations, CTA) as a priority aspect of improving the business enabling environment and it has been included on the Private Sector Matrix (the annual public/private agreement of all priority enabling environment issues to be addressed).