Mozambican Peasants vs. the Great African Land Grab

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_stories_sustainableagriculture_woman-unac-moz.jpgMaputo -- With a shimmering coastline stretching for more than 1,500 miles along the Indian Ocean, heartland game parks rivaling the Serengeti and a cornucopia of natural resources -- located mostly in land used by humble farming communities -- Mozambique is getting quite a lot of attention these days as one of Africa's most upcoming investment hubs and in vogue destinations. Investors have not wasted any time in carving out their stake in the country two decades into the relative stability following a 16-year civil war on the heels of independence.

The cash-strapped Mozambican state technically owns all of the land within its borders, offering leases that are renewable up to 99 years to foreign governments and corporations for agribusiness or extractive industrial megaprojects.

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Call for registration: III International Peasant Conference on Land



Dear friends,

UNAC (União Nacional de Camponeses), Mozambican Peasants’ Nation Union is hereby inviting organisations and peasant movements around the world, as well as activists, scholars and individuals interested in the issues and challenges of the peasantry, to participate in the III International Peasant Conference on Land held in Maputo, Mozambique.

UNAC, was founded in April, 1987 and registered in 1994 with the overall aim of representing the peasants and peasant organisations while ensuring their social, economic and cultural rights through strengthening its organisations, participating in shaping governmental public policies and development strategy, in order, to guarantee food sovereignty, while considering youth and gender equality.

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Solidarity with Struggle for Land in Shimoga, Karnataka: "We will fight unto death!"

b_350_0_16777215_00_images_Shimoga2.jpgBy Aditi Pinto

Thursday, 5 June 2014

In the foothills of the Western Ghats, in the villages of Badanehaalu, Bandigudda, Belligere, and Udaynagara in Shimoga district, Karnataka, small farmer and pastoralist families constantly struggle for land against the Forest Department. These families have lived here for over 70 years, each farming small plots of 0.5 – 3 acres along with doing other wage labour to fill their stomach. Most families did not have document proof, and were labelled bagar hukum or “without permission” cultivators.

One year ago, in March 2013, The Forest Department deployed JCB and Hitachi bulldozers to dig trenches, clear fields and remove all signs of cultivation. The bulldozers were confronted with a band of 25 women villagers, marching up to challenge them. When asked what motivated her to go fight the machines, one woman told me: “Seeing our farms being cleared, I had an image of poison running through the bodies of my children!” Download article here


Hungry for Land. Small farmers feed the world- with less than a quarter of all farmland

GRAIN/La Via Campesina media release

Kenya_Maasia-pastoralists-preparing-maize-harvest-Narok_AmiVitaleFAO.pngGovernments and international agencies frequently boast that small farmers control the largest share of the world's agricultural land. When the director general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation inaugurated 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming, he sang the praises of family farmers but didn't once mention the need for land reform. Instead, he announced that family farms already manage most of the world's farmland a whopping 70%, according to his team.

But a new review of the data carried out by GRAIN reveals that the opposite is true. Small farms, which produce most of the world's food, are currently squeezed onto less than a quarter of the world's farmland – or less than one fifth if you leave out China and India.

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