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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A Peasant Form of Production: Wage Dependent Agriculture in Southern Mozambique
Author:Van Den Berg, Jelle
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies
Geographic term:Mozambique
Subjects:agricultural workers
small farms
Economics and Trade
Labor and Employment
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Urbanization and Migration
History and Exploration
Abstract:Using both literature and interviews (1982-1984), the author outlines the historical development of peasant agriculture in the southern part of present-day Mozambique, and how it has come to be inextricably tied up with the wider capitalist structure, without leading to either the destruction of the peasant mode of livelihood or the proletarianization of peasant labour. In the early 19th century, the cycle of agricultural production was sustainable. Increasing labour migration from the mid-19th century onward and forced labour under Portuguese colonialism led to a shortage of male labour. Millet and sorghum were replaced by maize which, although climatically less well-adapted, required less labour. Peasant agriculture became dependent on cash injections from outside agriculture for the hire of ploughs and the purchase of seed. After Mozambique's independence in 1975, labour migration decreased dramatically, periodic financial injections in peasant agriculture became increasingly difficult, and production stagnated. The labour power of men, no longer migrating for work, could not now be absorbed by agriculture because of the changed cropping pattern. Bibliogr., sum. in French.