BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities has announced the rollout of its LEAD Project in Mozambique, pledging $8.8 million through 2019 to benefit provincial farmers. The program will be managed by ACDI/VOCA, an international development organization; BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities is a BHP community investment charity.
The project will engage more than 50 producer organizations to increase farmers’ incomes and business opportunities, offer training to improve production capacity, and facilitate access to financing. Since Q3 2013, the project has established 30 field schools; altogether, it will benefit about 6,500 households in Boane, Marracuene and Namaacha near the capital, Maputo.
BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities Chairman Ian Wood expressed pride in a program having “appeal because it builds on people’s affinity with their land in Mozambique and history in small scale farming,” he said; LEAD stands for “Livelihoods Empowerment and Development.”
Other Mozambique projects address maternal and child health, malaria and access to clean water with community investment totaling $30 million nationwide; BHP is an owner of the Mozal aluminium smelter in Boane. BHP’s Sustainable Communities also support projects in Colombia, Australia and South Africa.