Cashew farmer who became owner of a movie theater

PHOTOS / VIDEOS: Ali Magido - 04. December 2022

In 2015 Amândio Maximino received 0.5 hectares of land (5000 m2) from his father, to start agricultural activity. He sold part of the plot and joined the income from his fish and used clothing business to the amount.  In fact, at that time Amândio did a little bit of everything, trying to get income from all activities. Being literate, he did not dream of fully dedicating himself to the agricultural activity, as it usually happens with minimally educated people in Mozambique.

In this struggle for improved living conditions, Maximino participated in 2017 in General Population and Housing Census activities as a scrutinizer, and later became an observer. The following year, 2018, he worked for World Vision, earning a monthly salary of 650 meticais.

Also in this same year, Amândio was selected by HELVETAS to work as a service provider during the launch of the AMCANE project (Peanut, groundnut, and Sustainable Small Business). Maximino's writing and communication skills greatly impressed the project's technical staff, and for that reason he was trained on peanut and cashew production and received guidance on farm business management.

"In 2019 I decided to increase my peanut and cashew production area to 1.5 hectares (15,000m2). In the 2021-2022 farming season, I sold about 100 kilograms of groundnuts and 300 kilograms of the cashew nut and received the amount of 4,950 meticais and 16,500 meticais, (respectively)."

With the amount collected, the now farmer bought a motorcycle to perform taxi activities and thus diversify his source of income generation. Simultaneously, he started working as a Local Provider of Agricultural Services (PLSA), providing various activities in marketing of agricultural products, as well as extension, setting up technology demonstration fields and replicating training promoted by the AMCANE project.

"I have improved my life a lot. I was able to build my house where I live with my children and wife. I was also able to have chicken and goat farming. A part of our animals we use for our own consumption and the other part we sell," explained the Provider, happy to have established a recreational place in his community through an improvised movie theater, powered by a solar panel.

Currently, Amândio has about 57 cashew trees, of which 17 are productive and 40 have been recently planted. Member of the Okhalihana de Chacas cooperative, composed of 50 producers, Amândio Maximiano wishes to graduate in agronomy and establish a store selling grocery products and agricultural inputs, after all he "learned that agriculture is business".