The project is located in the town of Toronga, known as the Mangunde area. The town has a population of about 15.000 inhabitants, of which 50% are under 16 and 52% are women. Women are in charge of fetching water, preparing meals, husking and grinding corn and all the rest of the household. The man is in charge of working outside the home, but in an environment with limited employment opportunities many migrate to Maputo or South Africa, leaving women as heads of the family, who then are left with the responsibility of cultivating the families fields to grow corn and vegetables.
Subsistence agriculture, on the average sized plot of 1 to 2.5ha, is the predominant activity in the district, where practically all farms are rainfed, without the use of fertilizers or pesticides. The average yield of corn is below 1,000 kg/ha in a rainy year.
Production is very unstable and in years without sufficient rain, often lost completely causing malnutrition and food insecurity. The Buzi River runs through the communities of the district, but is unfortunately little used by the peasants. Drawing from this water source for the irrigation of these small-scale plots will secure agricultural production and significantly increase yields improving food security and sovereignty in the region.
Additionally, about 60% of the adult population is illiterate and their skills are limited to traditional farming techniques.