In this paper we examine this challenge through the lens of the country’s primary staple, maize. We choose maize among the country’s several staple foods (including cassava, rice, and wheat products) for a combination of reasons. First, it is the most widely produced staple in the country. In no province do fewer than two-thirds of rural households produce maize; rice’s participation, in contrast, falls below 10% in four provinces, and wheat is not produced locally at all. Second, maize is the most widely sold staple in the country: cassava rivals maize in breadth and level of production, but three times more households sell maize than sell cassava. Third, maize is the only staple food in Mozambique which is regularly exported, generating substantial income for smallholder farmers in the Center and North of the country. Finally, maize is the most widely consumed staple across the country, occupying as much of the average budget share in 2002 as high as rice, cassava, wheat, sorghum, and millet combined.