Land Concessions and Rural Livelihoods in Mozambique: The Gap Between Anticipated and Real Benefits of a Chinese Investment in the Limpopo Valley

Land Concessions and Rural Livelihoods in Mozambique: The Gap Between Anticipated and Real Benefits of a Chinese Investment in the Limpopo Valley

Author: 
Porsani, Juliana
Place: 
Oxon
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis Group
Date published: 
2017
Record type: 
Responsibility: 
Börjeson, Lowe, jt. author
Lehtilä, Kari, jt. author
Journal Title: 
Journal of Southern African Studies
Source: 
Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 43, No. 6, December 2017, pp. 1181-1198
Abstract: 

In rural Mozambique, as in other African countries, large-scale land acquisitions are on the rise. This process is usually portrayed by host governments and investors as comprising win-win deals that can simultaneously boost agricultural productivity and combat poverty. This article focuses on one such investment, a large-scale Chinese land acquisition in the lower Limpopo valley, where attempts to modernise agriculture have occurred since colonial times. Based on an analysis of primary quantitative and qualitative data, this study explores livelihoods in the targeted area and local experiences and views regarding land loss and its implications. Our findings reveal a top-down process enabled by disregard for sound legislation, whereby land dispossession was followed by 'take-it-or-leave-it' opportunities that were unsuited to the most land-dependent livelihoods, particularly those of single-headed households. As the modernisation of the region is once again attempted through the promotion of large-scale agriculture, important historical continuities prevail. This study adds critical evidence to the discussion on the local development potential of land deals in Mozambique and other areas marked by similar democratic deficits.

Country focus: 

CITATION: Porsani, Juliana. Land Concessions and Rural Livelihoods in Mozambique: The Gap Between Anticipated and Real Benefits of a Chinese Investment in the Limpopo Valley . Oxon : Taylor & Francis Group , 2017. Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 43, No. 6, December 2017, pp. 1181-1198 - Available at: https://library.au.int/land-concessions-and-rural-livelihoods-mozambique-gap-between-anticipated-and-real-benefits-chinese