Community Development

Community and agricultural development in Muapula is realised by various means. There is (by Niassa standards) a large herd of cattle, mainly Nguni and also a lot of sheep. Milk, cheese and yogurt is produced from this.

There is also an out growers project that has been running for many years where sunflower seed is sold to the locals to plant on their land and then the sunflowers are bought from them, the oil is pressed with an oil press in Muapula and the sunflower oil sold again to the community. Dewald Knoetze who lived in Muapula for a number of years with his family identified and trained local people in various practical and business skills and try to instill christian work ethics.

Basically the community development program he initiated in Muapula is an “outgrowers” project where sunflower seed are sold to the local people. They go and plant it on their lands and tend to it until it is harvest time. [In Niassa, as in so many other parts of Africa, the economical system of the local people is basically a subsistence system where each family or adult member of a family is allocated a peace of land that belongs to him and on which he plants (in the case of Muapula) mainly maize for food.]

Once the sunflowers are ready, the people sell it and earn some urgently needed money. In 2001 a thousand families have benefitted from this project by recieving money for the 80 tons of sunflowers that they had produced. A factory that processes the sunflower and presses oil from it has been build in Muapula on Servir Mozambique’s grounds. The oil is then sold in Cuamba and other towns in the vicinity to generate enough funds to perpetuate the cycle. At the end of 2007 the Knoetze family returned to South Africa and pastor Frits van der Merwe is currently running the project with a few Makhuas trained under Dewald Knoetze.

For the last few years a great effort has been put into planting coffee trees and a large coffee roast machine was bought to start producing a local product registered as Niassa Coffee. Eventually the idea is that many of the locals will follow suit and start planting some coffee trees and sell the beans to the mission.


Muapula - The Story | The Makhua Shirima People | Bible Translation | Church Planting | Community Development
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