Private sector improving nutrition in Mozambique

SBN Mozambique 3rd annual conference takes place in Maputo, 20-21 February 2019

To discuss the challenges of improving nutrition in Mozambique, the SUN Business Network Mozambique (SBNMoz) gathered around 200 participants, including national businesses, government representatives, civil society and academia, at its 3rd annual conference. The theme of this years’ conference was “Food Systems as a Means of Promoting Nutrition in Mozambique”. The event was organised by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the World Food Programme (WFP), in partnership with the Confederation of Economic Associations of Mozambique (CTA) and with the support of the Technical Secretariat for Food and Nutrition Security (SETSAN).

The event was held in two sessions:

The first session, the “Meeting of the SUN Movement Platforms in Mozambique” discussed recommendations for the private sector within the framework of nutrition promotion initiatives.

Graca Machel at SBNMoz 3rd annual conference
Graca Machel at SBNMoz 3rd annual conference

Graça Machel, the President of the Foundation for Community Development (FDC), was the keynote speaker of this first session, addressing the participants on “how to capitalise the role of the SUN Movement’s platforms on behalf of nutrition in Mozambique”. Graça Machel declared that “it’s time to act. We all have to roll up our sleeves, get out of our offices and go to the field and give our contribution with concrete actions”. She added that “we have the infrastructure to reduce malnutrition, but we are still struggling with chronic malnutrition at a prevalence rate of 43%. Why? Our job is to implement”. Graça Machel challenged the private sector by saying that “conditions should be created to ensure that every Mozambican child can eat at least one egg per week, so that we will ensure better nutrition for all”.

The second part of the event was aimed at the private sector and focused on “Food Systems as a Means of Promoting Nutrition”. Higino de Marrule, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security opened the session and took the opportunity to announce the presence of Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director, GAIN and Maria de Andrade from the International Potato Centre (CIP), Laureates of the 2018 and 2016 World Food Prizes.

“We will do everything so that the different actors find an enabling environment to develop their activities, independently and impartially, creating incentives and facilitating the execution of their actions”, said Higino de Marrule.

This session was divided into three panels where the following topics were discussed:

Lawrence Haddad at SBNMoz 3rd annual conference
Lawrence Haddad at SBNMoz 3rd annual conference

1. Food systems as a means of promoting nutrition in Mozambique

Panel session presented by Lawrence Haddad alongside Eduarda Mungói, Advisor to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and Mualide de Sousa, Director of Quality and Development of New Products at MEREC, one of the largest food processing companies in the country.

2. Investment in nutrition as a business opportunity

Panel session presented by Paulo Sousa, CEO, Banco Comercial e de Investimentos de Moçambique (BCI), alongside Pietro Toigo, Resident Representative, African Development Bank, António Souto, Managing Director, GAPI and Mário Gomes, National Coordinator, Partnerships for Investment and Growth in Africa (PIGA).

3. Nutrition in the workplace

Panel session presented by Lara Truzão, VALE Moçambique, alongside Adelino Buque, President of Agribusiness Sector, CTA and Diva Dessai, Manager of the Workplace Nutrition project at GAIN discussing the benefits of implementing initiatives on behalf of their workforce, resulting in increased performance and reduced absenteeism.

The panellists presented their vision and experiences around the above topics and explored solutions to increase the contribution of the private sector in improving nutrition in Mozambique, whilst also strengthening the national business environment.

Agostinho Vuma, President of the CTA and Private Sector Nutrition Champion presented the closing remarks of the event, calling for increased interventions from the private sector for promoting improved nutrition in Mozambique.

In the coming weeks, SBNMoz will carry out province level roundtables, where participants will have the opportunity to continue discussions around the challenges in the food system and the promotion of nutrition in Mozambique.

SBNMoz team
SUN Business Network Mozambique team

This article was originally published on the SBNMoz website. See more photos from the event here.

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