Organized peasants from about 19 districts of the Nacala Corridor, in Mozambique, reject the agribusiness development project called “ProSavana”, promoted by the governments of Mozambique, Brazil and Japan, since they consider it violates their rights.
The project is a model of monocultures and large states devoted to the external market. Peasants argue that it would lead to the usurpation of lands owned by small family producers.
The ProSavana program has been studied by the environmental federation Friends of the Earth International for being one of the largest multilateral investment projects in Africa. The program vows to deliver around 14 million hectares to agribusiness, taken from lands which are currently in the hands of small Mozambican farmer communities.
On October 24 and 25, in Maputo, Mozambique’s capital, the “3rd Peoples’ Triangular Conference” organized by the “No to ProSavana Campaign” took place and gathered around 200 people. Among them were peasants, representatives of social movements, non-governmental organizations, faith-based organizations, academics, students, activists, people of good faith, and members of the “No to ProSavana Campaign” from Mozambique, Brazil and Japan.
The Peoples’ Declaration generated in this Conference (attached) says: “We reject the model of exclusionary and discriminatory development based on the agribusiness that is imposed on us, since it is based on the expansion and accumulation of capital by large investors, and on the production of profit; not on the well-being of the peoples”.
The document also adds: “Peasants and other participants refuse to implement the ProSavana program once again. We encourage the Mozambican government to focus on peasant-based agriculture, which is the guarantor of food sovereignty, providing incentives for peasants to increase their production area, production and productivity with specific interventions such as extension services, access to productive infrastructures, among other things”.
Meanwhile, in the Permanent Peoples Tribunal (PPT) on transnational corporations and the rights of people and communities, which took place on August 17 and 18 in Johannesburg, South Africa, organized by the Southern Africa Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power, ProSavana was also among the topics for debate. In that context, Dominic Brown, from Amandla!, in coordination with Justiça Ambiental – Friends of the Earth Mozambique, interviewed two Mozambican peasants from the area where ProSavana would be imposed, in order to know their concerns, arguments and complaints.
The interviewed people did not want to show their faces or give their names for fear of retaliation, and their statements were translated from Portuguese into English by Justiça Ambiental activist Vanessa Cabanelas, who appears in the video interview, sitting next to Clemente Ntauazi from the “No to ProSavana Campaign”. Real World Radio now presents the interview.
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