Livelihoods Empowerment and Development (LEAD)

Livelihoods Empowerment and Development in Mozambique

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Rural poverty is on the rise in Mozambique. In spite of a strong annual growth rate in recent years, over half of the country’s population remains below the poverty line, and over 70 percent of poor households live in rural areas. In southern Mozambique, smallholder farmers account for 90 percent of land use, but farming is characterized by low yields, limited use of improved technologies, poorly developed market linkages, high post-harvest losses, and susceptibility to natural disasters. To address these issues, BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities (BSC) supported the Livelihoods Empowerment and Development (LEAD) project implemented by ACDI/VOCA.

The five-year LEAD project focused on improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Boane, Marracuene, and Namaacha districts and Zonas Verdes in Maputo Province, Mozambique. The project addressed key constraints in the horticulture value chain, building farmers’ competence in farm management, business planning, and access to markets. At the end of the project, LEAD cumulatively improved the livelihoods of 3,372 (1,148 male, 2,224 female) farmers using a facilitative value chain approach to promote community involvement, foster clear ownership by value chain stakeholders, and enable sustainable positive change.

  • Improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in rural Maputo Province
  • Increase smallholder farmer incomes by 30 percent over the life of the project
  • Address key constraints, such as farm management, business planning, and market access, that prevent farmers from reaching their full potential
  • Strengthened the ability of 32 producer organizations to play a key role in empowering smallholder farmers to successfully interact with the market, thereby fostering increased incomes and opportunities
  • Improved the production capacity of over 3,000 smallholder producers through farm-level training
  • Strengthened market linkages by defining market opportunities around key actors
  • Facilitated access to formal and informal credit and financing mechanisms for smallholder producers
  • Benefited 3,372 producers over the life of the project
  • Built the capacity of 32 producer organizations using ACDI/VOCA’s signature Sell More For More methodology
  • Promoted adoption of 10 good agricultural practices and farm management practices that are most relevant and useful to the farmers, with 77 percent of farmers implementing at least three best practices on a consistent basis by the end of the project
  • Increased the percentage of producers who receive credit or loans from local microfinance institutions by 37 percent

Funder: BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities (BSC)
Contact: Jason Hillis,