“NO to ProSavana Campaign”:
Mozambicans seek regional solidarity (Bulawayo, Zimbabwe)
UNAC, the Mozambique Union of Farmers, a member of La Via Campesina regionalises its “NO To ProSavana” campaign. The ProSavana, a mega agri-business project, is located in Mozambique and involves Brazil and Japan. The project, if developed, aims to turn 14.5 million hectares of agricultural land in the Nacala Corridor in Northern Mozambique, currently being used by small-scale farmers, into industrial monoculture agriculture driven by corporations for export production. UNAC participated in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) People’s Summit in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
It saw the regional gathering as an opportunity to promote and expand its campaign, and to seek and build support from other regional movements against the Prosavana project. UNAC, during the agricultural and land policies plenary, shared experiences on the project and how some of its farmer members have been affected. Many participants during the plenary discussions pointed out that the land-grabbing is a phenomenon affecting all Southern Africa. They went further to say that the struggle against ProSavana ‘is not only a national campaign, it is a regional one. We need support from Southern African and other international movements’.
Such sentiments resonated with those of Agostinho Bento, UNAC advocacy officer who called for solidarity in campaigning against the program, which could affect the farmers’ livelihood. Agostinho Bento argued that despite denial by the Mozambican government, ProSavana ‘is not about development, it will destroy the local system of food productions and small-scale farmers’ livelihood. We don’t want a development that benefits a few, but rather an inclusive process’.
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