Addressing seed insecurity in Cyclone Idai affected communities in Mozambique


Mozambique is primarily an agricultural economy with 85% of its population engaged in agriculture. Due to its geographic location Mozambique is prone to natural disasters (drought, floods and cyclones), with significant economic and social impacts on human life, agriculture and infrastructure. Cyclone Idai in 2019 was one of the worst tropical cyclones on record to affect Africa and the Southern Hemisphere.

Warning of a looming ”food crisis”, several Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) and international agencies urged funders to help affected families buy seed and tools to help them. It is considered that the improved varieties distributed in the context of the emergency may not have been adequate to the needs of the poorest small producers because they require high inputs. The goal of the project was to map and document sources of seed for reconstruction program to seed insecurity in Cyclone Idai affected communities in Central Mozambique.


The main research question is what kind of implications the seed varieties distributed under the reconstruction programme for Cyclone Idai had on farmers’ seed access after the cyclone.
We used a qualitative research approach through two Focus Group Discussions with 20 affected farmers (8 Male plus 12 Female). Government officials were also interviewed in Sussundenga District.

The results suggest that seeds distributed under the reconstruction program for Cyclone Idai affected communities did not change the seeds access patterns. Local seeds represent an important facet for building farmers’ resilience. While local agricultural authorities continue to provide assistance to affected people, producers identified warehouse pest control as a key priority for enhancing household resilience.

The conclusion is that farmers’ capacity to use seeds as a resilience mechanism should be strengthen through providing training on warehouse pest control and Fall Armyworm management.

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Figure 1. Focus group discussion in Chichira village (Photograph by Tomas Sitoe)


The results of the study have been disseminated to decision-making processes at the local level in the future, and will assist government in the seed acquisition process infuture rehabilitation programs.

Lessons learned

Local knowledge plays an important role in mitigating risks and strengthening resiilience against natural disasters.