Land Acquisitions and Rural Poverty: Unveiling Ambiguities in the District of Caia (Mozambique)

Elena Ianni


In the fight against rural poverty, the government of Mozambique fosters land acquisitions as a rapid economic development catalyzer assuming that investors increase the productivity of marginal and unused lands and negotiate long-term benefits with local communities abiding to legal prescriptions. This study aimed at unveiling the ambiguities of these policy assumptions in the district of Caia.

Questionnaires were used to investigate families’ risk perception and marginal lands use in local communities, while in-depth interviews with traditional community authorities addressed land access mechanisms, legal knowledge and information flows. This study showed that what is superficially considered by the government unused and marginal lands is in fact the land that allows people to sustain their complex livelihoods. Conversely, there is evidence that communities are largely unprepared to undertake a negotiation process with land investors.

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Environment and Natural Resources Research   ISSN 1927-0488 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0496 (Online)

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