Orphans of the Land

Jessica Milgroom, Cultivate! | 19 November 2018 | land grabbing | Mozambique

A great documentary film about resettlement of communities in Mozambique who had to make way for the Limpopo National Park.

People facing resettlement are filled with hope for a better life. Although some  families find prosperity after resettlement, as orphans of the land, villages lose autonomy to make decisions about the natural resources on which their livelihoods and social cohesion depend.  Based on four years research, this film puts names and faces to the people who are being displaced from their land to make room for a national park.

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On July 26, 2018, farmers in Xai-Xai, Mozambique, achieved a milestone. They met to formalize their new farmers’ association, elect leaders, and prepare a petition to the local government for land. The association, christened Tsakane, which means “happy” in the local Changana language, was the culmination of six years of resistance to a Chinese land grab that had sparked protest and outrage. The association now has a request pending for its own land. An encouraging story by Timothy A. Wise

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With the arrival of big agricultural investment to the Nacala Corridor, one of the most fertile and populated areas of Mozambique, thousands of people were dispossessed of their land and are still waiting for the promise of a better life to come true.

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Via Campesina published a number of interesting papers on agroecology and climate justice in Southern and Eastern Africa. They include country reports from Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Tanzania, and a general overview booklet, and contain interesting perspectives from farmers on the ground and examples on how they are already dealing with climate change.

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The No to ProSavana Campaign has learned, in the report from the latest meeting on ProSavana chaired by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security on April 4, that the governments of Mozambique, Brazil and Japan are moving to implement the ProSavana program in northern Mozambique, ignoring broad opposition by peasants, Mozambican men and women and civil society organizations, whether members of not of the No to ProSavana Campaign. The report clearly states that “It is necessary to move forward. We will not all think alike. Some do not want to, but it is necessary to move forward.”

 

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Mozambique won’t be Mato Grosso

Stefano Liberti | 12 June 2018 | land grabbing | Mozambique

In the Mozambican village of Nakarari, deep in the bush of the Mutuali district, 2,000km north of Maputo, 40 villagers were meeting under a mango tree; children played around them, jumping with excitement whenever a fruit dropped. The villagers were hoping that a popular movement centred on Nakarari had dealt a fatal blow to Africa’s biggest agro-industrial programme, ProSavana. A popular movement centred on a small farming village in northern Mozambique has, for the moment, halted an attempt to move to cash-crop monocultures mainly for export.

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A report released by the Environmental Paper Network (EPN) today highlights the environmental and social impacts of a new pulp mill project in Mozambique. Portucel Moçambique (a Mozambican company controlled by The Navigator Company, previously known as Portucel Soporcel) will build a pulp mill in Zambézia, Mozambique. The mill will have a production capacity of 1,500,000 tonnes per year and a biomass power generation plant.The new mill, located onthe shore of the Indian Ocean, will mostly provide pulp to the Asian paper industry.

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The Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA) project promises to develop drought tolerance in maize for the benefit of small holder farmers, but is really a project designed to facilitate the spread of hybrid and genetically modified (GM) maize varieties on the continent.

WEMA involves five African countries: Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. It works through the National Agricultural Research (NAR) agencies of these countries, the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and Monsanto. The project is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation, the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.

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Despite claims that a massive agricultural development deal in Mozambique will benefit the country’s citizens, there are indications that the project is designed to benefit a select few and could leave 100,000 Mozambicans displaced, write Khadija Sharife and Luis Nhachote.

More than 95% of Mozambique’s cultivated land is worked by millions of families that farm for food and income. But the land and its people may be at risk if one of the largest agricultural development deals in Africa is realised. Details leaked from the Panama Papers database show that the Lurio River Valley Development Project, which is valued at $4.2 billion, is being orchestrated behind a web of opaque offshore companies with little in the way of credible track records, financing information, ownership information or even brick-and-mortar offices.

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A report on landgrabbing by GRAIN and the Mozambique small farmers movement UNAC has sparked quite some debate in the country. According to Chris Arsenault of Reuters: "Mozambique, a country wracked by hunger, has signed away land concessions three times larger than Greater London to outside investors in the past decade, displacing thousands of farmers in the process, said a report released on Thursday".

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