Official Government Wires
99512E TOURISM EARNS 231 MILLION US DOLLARS IN 2011
Maputo, 24 May (AIM) - Mozambique's Minister of Tourism, Fernando Sumbana, on Wednesday revealed that the tourism industry last year earned the country 231 million US dollars, an increase of 17.1 per cent compared to 2010, when revenues reached 197.3 million US dollars.
The minister was speaking after the end of his ministry's Coordination Council which was held in the town of Mocimboa da Praia, in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.
These figures are the sums recorded by the national financial system, and derive essentially from hotel records. They grossly underestimate the true value of the tourism trade, since they do not account for what tourists spend in shops, bars and restaurants.
For Sumbana, tourism revenues are virtually the same as those for exported goods and services, arguing that the only difference is that exported goods need to be sold abroad to bring hard currency into the country while the tourism sector achieves the exactly same results within the country.
"While timber and other products bring hard currency only after they have been exported abroad, tourism brings it hard currency without the product leaving the country, and with tourism we have the advantage of selling the same product over and over again".
He also pointed out that tourism has the virtue of bringing in income immediately, without time lags and intricate paths associated with the collection of revenues of exported goods and services.
The minister warned that, despite continued growth in foreign investment in tourism, there was a decline last year in the value of new projects (hotels and travel agencies) approved by the government, which totalled 540 million US dollars - down from 740 million US dollars in 2010.
"The decline seen in 2011 was due to the fall in the number of mega-projects approved compared to the past years", explained Sumbana.
Currently, the tourism sector employs over 42,000 workers which, according to the minister, contributes to socio-economic stability in tourist locations.
The minister mentioned a number of positive developments, such as the liberalisation of domestic airspace for direct intercontinental flights and the allocation of special licences in all the conservation areas.
98512E EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT FORMALISES FISHERIES AGREEMENT
London, 24 May (AIM) - The European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday voted to adopt a new fisheries protocol with Mozambique under which 75 European Union ships will be able to fish within Mozambique's waters.
The resolution was drafted by Spanish parliamentarian Dolores Garcia-Hierro Caraballo and was approved with 566 votes in favour, 89 against and 17 abstentions.
The protocol actually came into force at the beginning of the year, but under the European Union's peculiar system it has only just been put before parliament. The agreement will remain in force until 31 January 2015.
The agreement has a smaller quota than previously because several boats have pulled out of the area due to the increased risk of piracy in the Indian Ocean. As a result the quota has been reduced from 10,000 to 8,000 tonnes per year, but makes provision for the ceiling to be raised if necessary.
The number of European Union vessels allowed to fish in these waters is reduced from 89 to 75: 43 tuna seiners and 32 surface long-liners.
Under the deal the European Union will pay Mozambique 980,000 euros per year: 520,000 euros for access to its waters and 460,000 euros to support the development of the Mozambican fisheries sector and the country's maritime policy.
In January the European Union announced that Spanish boats will receive 38 licences, covering 22 tuna purse seiners and 16 surface long-liners. France will receive 28 licences for 20 tuna purse seiners and 8 surface long-liners. Portugal will be allocated seven surface long-liners licences, whilst Italy will have a permit for one tuna purse seiner and Britain will receive one licence for a surface longliner.
The European Parliament also requires that a third of these vessels must be inspected each year in a Mozambican port. An electronic logbook is being introduced in July to record the fish caught.
Finally, the protocol requires European Union vessel owners to hire at least two Mozambican seamen per seiner and one per long-liner, or pay a fine of 30 euros per day.
The European Parliament also debated the drastic fall in stocks of Atlantic Bluefin tuna in the eastern Atlantic and in the Mediterranean.
The parliamentarians voted in favour of cutting the quotas from 13,500 to 12,900 tonnes a year and strengthening control measures to help the tuna population recover.
Among the proposals put forward is the creation of tuna sanctuaries which will be closed to fishing during the spawning season.
97512E AGRITERRA ON TARGET FOR HERD OF 10,000
London, 24 May (AIM) - The Guernsey based trading company Agriterra on Wednesday announced that its beef ranching business, Mozbife, is on target to having 10,000 cattle by 2015. The company has already increased its herd to 4,000 cattle.
The company also announced that it has completed building a 48 billion litre dam at its stud ranch in Mavonde, in the central province of Manica. As a result the company will be able to increase the number of cattle on the ranch from 1.5 to 7 head per hectare.
The company has acquired another 350 hectares at Mavonde and is negotiating a further increase of 1,000 hectares.
In response to the increased acreage, the company has imported 280 more "Beefmaster" bulls from South Africa.
According to Agriterra's Chief Executive, Euan Kay, "we continue to develop the infrastructure required to support a significant breeding herd, and the completion of our 48 billion litre dam at Mavonde is an important element of this objective. Its completion will provide irrigation for the 1,250 hectare Mavonde Ranch, with surplus capacity as the ranch continues to expand".
The dam will also produce 132 kVa of electricity to power the irrigation pumps.
As part of its social responsibility programme, the company has released 300,000 tilapia fingerlings into the dam and plans to release a further 1.75 million over the next six months. It will set up a fishing cooperative with the local community and provide a boat and nets.
Meanwhile, at its Dombe ranch Agriterra is buying 100 native cattle each week to take part in a cross-breeding programme.
To maximise revenue the company is constructing an abattoir at Chimoio, and plan to open two butchers shops in the town in June this year.
96512E TRAINING NEEDED TO MEET DEMANDS OF HYDROCARBON BOOM
Boane (Mozambique), 24 May (AIM) - The Minister of Science and Technology, Venancio Massingue, on Wednesday stressed that the Mozambican government must make sure that human resources with the required scientific knowledge are available to meet the needs arising from the new discoveries of hydrocarbons in the country.
This requirement was aired during the opening session of the Ministry of Science and Technology's Coordination Council, which is being held in Boane, in the southern province of Maputo.
The three-day meeting is being run under the theme "The Contribution of Science, Technology and Innovation in Economic and Social Development".
The meeting is due to discuss the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation in Mozambique (ECTIM) and the Strategy for Electronic Government.
The minister said that the meeting's theme illustrates that science, technology and innovation contributes to improvements in quality and production, and has an impact on economic growth and improving the quality of life for citizens.
The minister stressed that "the discovery of new deposits of mineral resources imposes on the Ministry of Science and Technology the need to strengthen the mechanisms for the validation and transfer of knowledge".
The minister also revealed that the Centre for Marine Biotechnology in Xai-Xai and the programme to increase the productivity of maize, rice and wheat are entering the implementation phase.
The meeting's spokesperson, Lourino Chemane, added that the meeting will be discussing the Science and Technology Park in Maluana, the Institute for Water Research and the Umbeluzi Research and Transfer of Agricultural Technologies Centre. It will also be looking at preparations for the drafting of the law on science and technology which is planned for later this year.
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