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Journal article

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

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2017
Taylor & Francis Group
Oxon
Africa | Southern Africa

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...

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