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Land Concessions and Rural Livelihoods in Mozambique: The Gap Between Anticipated and Real Benefits of a Chinese Investment in the Limpopo Valley
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2445-2699
Number of Authors: 32017 (English)In: Journal of Southern African Studies, ISSN 0305-7070, E-ISSN 1465-3893, Vol. 43, no 6, p. 1181-1198Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 43, no 6, p. 1181-1198
Keywords [en]
land grabbing, large-scale land acquisition, rural livelihood, community consultation, female-headed household, Mozambique
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-151053DOI: 10.1080/03057070.2017.1377932ISI: 000415960000005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-151053DiVA, id: diva2:1171894
Available from: 2018-01-08 Created: 2018-01-08 Last updated: 2018-01-08Bibliographically approved

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