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Artikel

29 Nov 2021

Autor*in:
Euclides Gonçalves, The Elephant (Kenya)

Mozambique: How investors collude with local interest groups to overstate impacts of agricultural projects designed to reduce poverty

" Agricultural Productivity as Performance: A Tale of Two Mozambican Corridors"

...An agricultural campaign with similar objectives as the Great Leap Forward was adopted by the Mozambican government for the year 2018/19. It rallied smallholder farmers to increase production and productivity under the motto, “Mozambique Increasing Production and Productivity Towards Zero Hunger”. In the end, Mozambican farmers were unable to significantly increase production...

Along the Beira and Nacala agricultural corridors of Mozambique, there has been a widespread trend where international funders and investors, national elites, local bureaucrats and smallholder farmers collude in performing agricultural success, not only to attract the much-needed international capital, but in ways that bring the largely non-existent corridors to life. Agricultural corridors in Mozambique, in this sense, emerge on those occasions when international funders and investors, national elites, local bureaucrats and smallholder farmers overstate the success of agricultural projects – much like Chinese local officials did in the early 1960s. Below are two examples worth considering...

Ideas such as the introduction of financial services or the provision of technical assistance and tillage services are attractive, not only to farmers, but also to international donors and investors, but at the time the success of the tomato processing plant in Tica was being widely touted in the media, most of these plans were yet to materialize. The fire did indeed put an abrupt end to the brief lifespan of the plant, but the expectation of agricultural commercialisation that the plant had generated in the region long before it began operating exemplified the extent to which local officials were willing to create a narrative of success around a project in anticipation of, or as a means of attracting the much needed but seriously lacking investment capital.