Mozambique gives assurances that not only Brazilian investors can benefit from land for agriculture

23 August 2011

Maputo, Mozambique, 23 Aug – Mozambique’s deputy agriculture minister, António Limbau said Tuesday that the areas in the north of Mozambique where the government wants to develop agriculture were open to proposals not only from Brazil, but also from other local and foreign investors.

Limbau’s clarification follows a week after the Brazilian press reported that the Mozambican government was offering large tracts of land (6 million hectares) in four provinces of northern Mozambique for a symbolic price to Brazilian farmers for production of soy, maize and cotton.

The deputy Agriculture minister said that the programme was a so-called pro-savannah project, which aimed to take advantage of Mozambique’s agricultural potential.

“The Agriculture minister invited Brazilian farmers to invest in Mozambique and did not mention the sale of land. The minister did not sell the land to Brazilians, prospecting was carried out and a potential area was identified for national and foreign investment,” he said.

Limbau said that the invitation to Brazilian businesspeople was due to their experience in the agricultural sector, as the identified region had similar characteristics to the Cerrado of Mato Grosso, in Brazil, and area that 30 years ago underwent a veritable agricultural revolution.

“Making use of the experience of Brazilian farmers and taking into account the conditions of the area covered by the Nacala Corridor, which are similar to the Brazilian cerrado, we are going to make use of this experience to implement an important programme, which is the flagship that will revolutionise our agricultural programme,” said the deputy minister.

Limbau also told Mozambican newspaper, O País, that similarly to agricultural investors of other nationalities, all the legal procedures for investments of these kinds were followed for the agreement with Brazilian farmers.

“As happens with other investors, attribution of land in Mozambique is followed under the terms outlined in the law, in this case, land for investment. Thus investors can have the right to use and benefit from the investment (DUAT), but not of the property, and can use it for a period of 50 years,” he said. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH