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Land and biofuels

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.

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Mozambique Political Process Bulletin 48 - Land (1.6 Mb)


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.

Rising Global Interest in Farmland - World Bank Sept 2010

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Anna Locke: A review of 5 projects from the agriculture, livestock and forestry sectors - October 12, 2009 (366 kb)

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Rachel Waterhouse, Gil Lauriciano, Simon Norfolk: Social issues of selected projects - 19 March 2010 (667 kb)

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Simon Norfolk; Policy, Legal and Institutional Assessment Framework - 10 September 2009 (838 kb)


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.

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Niassa-Direcção_Nacional_de_Terras_e_Florestas_Set2010 (Portuguese 404 kb)

Study on Community Land Rights in Niassa Province, Mozambique; 2009; Åkesson, G., Calengo, A., Tanner, C.

Estudo Sobre Terras Comuunitárias - Província do Niassa, Moçambique, 2009, Åkesson, G., Calengo, A., Tanner, C.

The Sustainable Development for Chikweti in the Forest Industry in Developing Mozambique, Mälardalen University, 2010

The Expansion of Tree Monocultures in Mozambique. Winfridus Overbeek, 2010

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.

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Conflito eclesiástico sobre terras em Moçambique - Chikweti - Dagsavisen

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Dagens Nyheter 22 Nov 2010 article on Chikweti (Swedish, 3.3 Mb)

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document DN Chikweti article (Portuguese translation) & response (English translation).pdf

Global Solidarity Forest Fund website

Chikweiti Forests of Niassa website



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.

Wikipedia entry on Miguel Maria de Sá Pais do Amaral

Quifel was promoting Mozambican investment in a Reuters interview 22 Feb 2011


Justiça Ambiental

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

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Lords of the Land - Land grabbing in Mozambique (Aug 2011, 1.8 Mb)

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Jatropha: a socio-economic pitfall for Mozambqiue (2009; 8.8 Mb - LARGE file)

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Gestão da Bacia Hidrográfica do Médio e Baixo Zambeze em Períodos Críticos (Jan 2011; 1.6 Mb with no photos)

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Gestão da Bacia Hidrográfica do Médio e Baixo Zambeze em Períodos Críticos (Jan 2011; 30 Mb HUGE file with photos)



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.

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Biofuel developments in Mozambique - Marc Schut, Wageningen, Mar 2010 (323 kb)

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Working towards sustainability - Learning experiences for sustainable biofule strategies in Mozambique, Feb 2010 - Marc Schut, Sandra Bos, Lara Machuama & Maja Slingerland (2.7 Mb)

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Política e Estratégia de Biocumbustíveis - 2009 (2.1 Mb)

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Managing the Biofuels Boom (and Bust?) - Mozambique’s Experience - Anna Locke, 2009 (73 kb)

Gender Implications of Biofuels Expansion: A CGE Analysis for Mozambique - Channing Arndt, Rui Benfica and James Thurlow - Wider Oct 2010

Biofuels, land access and rural livelihoods in Mozambique - Isilda Nhantumbo and Alda Salomão - IIED 2010

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Smallholder jatropha in Tanzania 2009 (1 Mb)

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Smallholder jatropha in Gorongosa (1.4 Mb)

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document High Conservation Value areas in Cabo Delgado (455 kb)


Other reports and papers

Land Investments or Land grab? A critical view from Tanzania and Mozambique - Hans Theting & Brita Brekke - Spire 2010 (13.5 Mb - very large file)

Indirect expropriation: The role of national institutions and domestic elites in the Mozambican farmland grab, by Madeleine Fairbairn (Paper presented at the Global Land Grabbing conference 6-8 April 2011)


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

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Balanço dos 10 anos de delimitação de terras comunitárias - Direcção Nacional de Terras e Florestas (1.6 Mb)

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Delimitações Comunitárias na Práticas dos SPGC's

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document As Comunidades Locais e a Delimitação - DNPDR

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Programa de Promoção do Uso dos Recursos Naturais - DNPDR

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Intervenção do Representante dos Doadores da Iniciativa de Terras Comunitárias

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document iTC - Iniciativa para Terras - KPMG

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Terra Comunitáriae Direitos às Florestas:

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Assegurando os Direitos Sobre a Terra nas Zonas Rurais - A Experiência de Quarto Países - Banco Mundial

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document ORAM

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Delimitações, Planos de Uso da Terra e Desenvolvimento Local - Paul de Wit (3.1 Mb)

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Tectona Forest of Zambézia

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Experiencia da Comunidade de Canhane - Massingir - Gaza

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Comunidade de Cavango, Niassa

Icon - Adobe Acrobat pdf document Comunidade de Cavango, Niassa