From Mozambique to Wrangle! Minister’s fact-finding mission to pick up agricultural expertise

Boston MP Mark Simmonds and Mozambique Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco
Boston MP Mark Simmonds and Mozambique Agriculture Minister Jose Pacheco

Boston MP Mark Simmonds welcomed the Mozambique agriculture minister Jose Pacheco on a fact finding mission to the borough.

Mr Simmonds, who is Minister for Africa, used the visit to showcase Boston’s food production and farming businesses.

The high-powered delegation, which also included the Mozambique High Commissioner Carlos dos Santos, were taken on tours of Staples Vegetables in Wrangle, Boston trench technology company Mastenbroek, Butterwick-based Produce World and Hobhole Pumping Station.

Mr Simmonds said: “Agriculture is key to developing the Mozambican economy and we have businesses that are right at the leading edge of agricultural production.

“What we have shown the minister today will lead to greater co-operation and understanding between our agricultural sectors.

“This visit demonstrates how the expertise we have here in Lincolnshire can promote exports around the world and assist the economic development taking place in African countries such as Mozambique.

“My view is there are very significant export opportunities for Lincolnshire agricultural businesses that need to be exploited fully, creating more opportunities and jobs.

“There are similarities between Lincolnshire and Mozambique, both in the level of our rainfall and importance of agriculture to the economy.”

Previously reliant on food aid, Mozambique now exports agricultural produce.

Problems persist including land degradation, that Mr Pacheco hoped could be tackled using technology showcased during the Boston visit.

He added: “This has given us an opportunity to learn about the UK agricultural sector and see if there is room for co-operation and to attract investment.

“Agriculture is a key sector for economic development in Mozambique and we are sure it will remain so.”