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Title:Land struggles & social differentiation in Southern Mozambique: a case study of Chokwe, Limpopo 1950-1987
Author:Hermele, KennethISNI
Series:Research report (ISSN 0080-6714)
City of publisher:Uppsala
Publisher:Scandinavian Institute of African Studies
Geographic term:Mozambique
Subjects:land reform
agricultural projects
Abstract:The peasants of the Limpopo valley in southern Mozambique have been robbed of their fertile lands twice, first in the 1950's when the Portuguese colonial regime initiated the Chokwe settlement scheme and thousands of poor Portuguese peasants were brought to Mozambique to farm the irrigated fields. And again right after independence in 1975 when the abandoned fields were turned into Mozambique's major State farm instead of being handed over to the thousands of peasants who claimed the land. The response of the peasants to these two instances was similar: in both cases they yielded to the superior power of the State. But whereas the ousted peasants during the colonial era demanded to be let into the irrigation scheme to be able to profit from the large investments made, after independence no such opening was made available. Instead of receiving land, the peasants were integrated into State farms, mostly as labourers, and they responded by ensuring that the State farm failed. In 1983, the agricultural development strategy changed and the land began to be distributed to the peasants. The essay terminates by describing this latest phase, highlighting the strong differentiating effects and the class formation that is taking place in the area.