PMIL in Mozambique

PMIL researchers in Mozambique and the U.S. are working to develop peanut varieties that are more resistant to pests and diseases, such as groundnut rosette disease, and that are also more nutritious. For example, testing of high oleic peanut varieties, which contain a higher percentage of beneficial fat, is underway in Mozambique.

PMIL researchers are also gaining knowledge concerning the economics of several pre-harvest interventions aimed at boosting peanut production, while reducing the risks caused by aflatoxins.

This information will provide a better understanding of the incentives required for adopting new technology, and support increased food safety and farm income across the country and region, including in the Feed the Future countries of Malawi and Zambia.

About Mozambique

Located in southeast Africa, Mozambique has a vast coastline along the Indian Ocean. The country gained independence from Portugal in 1975 and Portuguese remains the official language; however, half the population speaks it as a second language. Swahili, Makhhuwa, and Sena are also common languages.


More than 24 million people live in Mozambique, a country double the size of the US state of California.

Only about half of the adult population is literate. Average life expectancy is 50 years old, which is seven years less than the average in sub-Saharan Africa.


There are two main seasons: wet (November-March) and dry (April-December). Average temperatures can reach as high as 31° C (87.8° F) and dropping as low as 13° C (55.4° F) in the capitol city of Maputo.

Mozambique has a relatively low rainfall but receives much more rain along the coast.


The Mozambican diet relies mainly on cassava in the north and maize in the central and southern areas. Leafy green vegetables are often eaten with these staples. Other diversified foods are limited, including other vegetable sources, fruits, and meats.

Diversification, which would provide micronutrients and protein, are lacking in the diet. In fact, about 44% of children under the age of 5 are stunted.

Peanut Production

Peanuts are an important source of fat and protein in diet. They are used in many dishes including a traditional dish called matapa, a type of clam and peanut stew.

The majority of the peanut production takes place in the northern parts of the country, where 99% of production is done by smallholder farmers.

Country Area Harvested Yield Production
  Acres Hectares Lb/Acre Kg/Hectare Tons Metric Tonnes
Mozambique 736,374 298,000 317 355 116,844 106,000
United States 1,040,313 421,000 4,011 4,496 2,086,675 1,893,000
Table Data Source (FAOSTAT, 2013)          

Improving the yield Mozambican farmers get from their land would help the smallholder farmers’ bottom line and provide nutritious food for malnourished children.

Local Peanut Facts

  • Groundnuts are the most important oilseed crop.
  • An important source of fat and protein in diet, groundnuts are added to meat products.
  • Groundnuts are used in many dishes including matapa (clam and peanut stew), chiguinha, coconut curry, pumpkin curry, mshawa, canana, cowpea curry, cassava, and desserts.
  • Animal feeds and forage for dairy animals comes from groundnuts.