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Land and Biofuels

There has been extensive (and sometimes wildly exaggerated) reporting on "land grabs" in Mozambique, particularly for biofuels and forests. This collects together the available articles. The position on land was summarised in the Mozambique Political Process Bulletin of 22 Feb 2011. Land had moved higher up the political agenda, with interventions by the President, Council of Ministers, communities, and donors. There was an unofficial halt to new large land grants.

World Bank on Mozambique land

The World Bank book Rising Global Interest in Farmland is available free from the World Bank. The map Mozambique Concession Overlap with Community Claims on page 188 is in colour and can be enlarged to show community land, investor concessions, and overlaps in some detail.
The Bank now makes its background documents public, and the three background papers under the collective title of "Large-Scale Land Acquisition for Agricultural Production - Mozambique" follow.

Niassa forests

There are at least seven forestry projects in Niassa, aiming for more than 400,000 ha, much of it planted with Eucalyptus and Pine. Projects linked to the Global Solidarity Forest Fund (Swedish and Norwegian churches and a Dutch pension fund) and Malonda Foundation have been particularly controversial.
The first document is a study for the Finnish trade unions in April 2014 (in English and Portuguese). This is followed by the September 2010 report by the Ministry of Agriculture Department of Land and Forests (DNTF) which is highly critical of the forest companies.

Press converage. There have been two articles on Chikweti in the Nordic press, a critical article in the Norwegian Dagsavisen, below in Portuguese translation, and a positive article in the Swedish Dagens Nyheter. The article is posted below in Swedish, with a Portuguese translation and an English translation of the response from the peasants movement, UNAC.


Quifel is a controversial investment in 10,000 ha in Lioma, Gurue, Zambezia province which started badly, with conflicts with the local community, and apparently having difficulty raising the $8 million capital necessary to launch the project. It is owned by Miguel Maria de Sá Pais do Amaral, a Portuguese aristocrat (2nd Count of Alferrarede) and racing car driver.

Justiça Ambiental

Justiça Ambiental is the Mozambican branch of Friends of the Earth, and has produced several land-related reports.


Mozambique encourages biofuel production so long as it does not compete with food production. This means it supports sugar and sweet sorghum for ethanol for petrol and jatropha and coconut for biodiesel, but not cassava or oilseeds which are also used for food.
The following two items, from Wageningen University in early 2010, provide the best summary of biofuels in Mozambique. The government's biofuels policy follows.

Other reports and papers

Nampula community land conference

There are the Powerpoint presentations of many of the speakers and the National Community Land Conference (Reunião Nacional Sobre Terras Comunitárias)in Nampula, 9-11 March 2010