An upgraded road in northern Mozambique is more than just a road - The Milange-Mocuba Road diaries

An upgraded road in northern Mozambique is more than just a road - The Milange-Mocuba Road diaries

Integrated Development of Milange - Mocuba Corridor

Where there is a road, many things happen. Journeys that used do take days sometimes, can now be completed in hours, so we get staples here for essentially the same price as in the big cities. A cement truck from Mocuba used to spend at least 2 days on the road..... But because of this road, there are many people now bringing cement. It’s much easier, and cheaper.

Luciano Reis Elias, agricultural trader and secretary of the Economic Agents Association in Milange, Mozambique.

CONTEXT

The Milange-Mocuba Corridor is a fertile agricultural region which so far has had little share in Mozambique’s recent economic growth because it lacks good transport infrastructure. A Participative Poverty Study conducted in Mozambique back in 1995 concluded that the number one priority of "the poorest of the poor" was not healthcare or education, but a road they could use all year round. The explanation was simple. If you have a road, you can travel. And if you can travel you can access markets where the prices of agricultural products are high and consumer goods less expensive.

OBJECTIVES

  • To upgrade the 190 km road between Milange and Mocuba to pavement standard thereby opening up areas of significant agricultural production along the Milange-Mocuba corridor to markets, promoting economic and social development, enhancing regional integrating and reducing poverty.

RESULTS

  • Approximately 1.4 million Mozambicans, living in the bordering districts of the corridor, will benefit from better rural and highway transport that will allow farmers to market their produce more profitably, encourage investors to create employment opportunities in the corridor, and allow its inhabitants to travel and access healthcare and education opportunities more easily.
  • First phase completed in August 2013 and upgraded from gravel to pavement standard the 80-km stretch of the N11 from Mocuba to Alto Benfica.
  • Second phase connecting Milange to Alto Benfica, upgraded the 110 km highway, upgraded two bridges and new construction of two further bridges at Mutuasse and Namilate damaged by the 2015 floods.

FACTS AND FIGURES

  • Between 2010-2018, the European Union funded (€150 million) the upgrade of Milange-Mocuba corridor (190-Km), contributing to promote economic and social development in rural areas.

TESTIMONY

Stories from the Road - Luciano Reis Elias, Agricultural Products Trader

My name is Luciano Reis Elias, I was born in Milange and I have been trading agricultural products for a long time in this district.When we heard the news that there would be a road from Milange to Mocuba, we were all very happy. And now that it is almost completed, life is improving for everyone. Where there is a road, many things happen. Journeys that used do take days sometimes, can now be completed in hours, so we get staples here for essentially the same price as in the big cities.

A cement truck from Mocuba used to spend at least 2 days on the road. And they would sell it at very high prices because there was no competition. But because of this road, there are many people now bringing cement. It’s much easier, and cheaper. At the same time our local agricultural products can now be sold very easily. Production has increased, because they know there are buyers and they can sell at good prices. When the harvest season starts, buyers come from various parts of the province and from the entire country to buy our products. We have never known so much to be sold out of here. Local people too used to buy everything from Quelimane, but now they buy right here and then go and resell in the villages.