A member of the National Peasants Union (UNAC) walking along the Nacala Corridor rail line, in Mecubúri District,Nampula Province, June 2012. ProSavana can be summed up in this simple equation: Mozambique supplies theland, Brazil does the farming and Japan takes the food. It is a vast project being coordinated by the governments ofthe three countries that involves billions of dollars and millions of hectares of land. It may amount to the biggestfarmland grab in Africa.
Maps from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) showing how the Nacala Corridor and Brazilian cerradoare at the same latitude. The promoters of the ProSavana project say that they want to recreate Brazils experiencewith the development of large-scale, industrial farming in the Brazilian cerrado. They say that the cerrado and theNacala Corridor are both tropical savannah areas that are very similar, and that there is enormous potential in theNacala Corridor for even cheaper, export production of agricultural commodities like soybeans, maize and cotton.
Nacala CorridorIn this map, the areas in green and yellow indicate the land available for agriculture that is not already underproduction in the Nacala Corridor. The data was compiled by Jacinto Mafalacusser and Dr. Mario Ruy Marquesof the Instituto de Investigação Agrária de Moçambique (IIAM).
"This is where my family is and I wont give up my lands. Where will I go if they take my lands?" On June 22, 2012,peasants gathered in Namina, Mecubúri District, Nampula to meet with representatives from La Via Campesina andGRAIN. It was the first time they had heard about the ProSavana project, even though their lands are direclty within thetargetted area. The peasants explained that they are already battling a Norwegian company, Green Resources, whichhas grabbed 126,000 ha in the area for forestry plantations wthout their consent.
On October 11, 2012, local leaders from the National Peasants Union (UNAC) met in Nampula City todiscuss ProSavana. This was the first time the peasant leaders from the areas affected by the ProSavanaproject had met to discuss it, and for many, it was the first time that they had received any information aboutwhat is involved. In a declaration from the meeting, the participants say they "are extremely concerned thatProSavana requires millions of hectares of land along the Nacala Corridor, when the local reality shows thatsuch vast areas of land are not available and are currently used by peasants practicing shifting cultivation."