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Mozambique: land, inclusive business & food security


Project description

Duration: August 2014 – December 2016. This project has been finalized.

Summary of the results: In recent years, large-scale rural investments by both foreign and domestic investors have been on the rise in Mozambique. The project aimed at investigating whether and how large-scale rural investments impact on land governance, livelihoods and food security of local communities, women and men.
Communities took centre stage in innovative Community Participatory and Empowering Action Research (CPEAR) serving participatory diagnosis of large-scale land based investments and the impact on livelihoods and food security. In addition, broad stakeholder consultations, household surveys and desk research took place.
For most  of the investments, stakeholder communication and community consultations have been weak. Many smallholder farmers, women in particular, did not participate in community consultations, let alone in real decision making about investments. The majority did not receive benefit from the investment projects. On the contrary, they often experience negative impacts on the livelihoods and food security.
Through CPEAR community action plans were drawn up for community rooted advocacy and development. Some essential actions were taken and broader recommendations were made to communities, community leaders, national and local governments, the private sector, NGOs and donors for community and women’s land rights, more inclusive business development, local socioeconomic development, sustainable livelihoods and the right to food.

Aim: “Bridging the gaps between policy and practice on land governance, inclusive business and food security in Mozambique” is an interdisciplinary research project at the interfaces of land governance & land-user rights, business development, livelihoods, food security and gender. It is implemented by ActionAid-Mozambique, Utrecht University-International Development Studies (UU-IDS) and ActionAid in the Netherlands.

Within the context of the Dutch strategy for international cooperation on food security, the project aims to provide engendered insights and recommendations for land governance, sustainable business, livelihood development and food security in Mozambique. The project will provide engendered recommendations aimed at inclusive business development, resilient and sustainable livelihoods as to guarantee the right to food for women and men.

Key Objectives:

  • To study how large-scale rural investments impact on local communities, women in particular, their livelihoods and food security;
  • To study what models of investments can be most inclusive (pro-poor) and environmentally sustainable;
  • To study how locally-rooted private sector development can provide promising alternatives for sustainable and inclusive development and food security in Mozambique.

Research questions:

  • Type and variation of investments in Mozambique?
  • What models are more or less dominant, or alternatives?
  • What are the experiences and impacts to date?
  • Can different models, corporate, SME or micro/ smallholder driven, coexist and fruitfully benefit each other?
  • What –combinations of – alternative models can be proposed by optimizing livelihood development and food security of local communities, women and men, at large?

Method: The project conducts a comprehensive community-led action research in combination with broader (local, national and international) stakeholder consultations and policy & contextual desk research. The community–led action research consists of engendered participatory diagnosis, community visioning, community action planning and prioritized actions.
The project facilitates communities to come up with their community action plans and facilitates some of their prioritized actions.

Country: Mozambique, the Massingir district in Gaza province and the Maganja da Costa district in Zambezia province. The broader national and provincial contexts are also taken into consideration.

Dutch policy goal: Increase sustainable food production.


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Update February 2016
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Update February 2016 “Mozambique: land, inclusive business & food security”

There were some minor delays due to the October 2014 presidential and general elections and due to heavy flooding in Zambezia in early 2015. In January 2015, the project members of the ARF project “Mozambique: land, inclusive business & food security” started the research in Massingir district, Gaza province; and from May 2015 onwards in Maganja da Costa district, Zambezia province. »