Programme of Triangular Cooperation for Developing Agriculture in the Tropical Savannahs of Mozambique (ProSavana)


The Brazilian government together with Japan plan to complete a large-scale agribusiness project in Northern Mozambique. The project will take place over an area od 14 million ha. and will be exploited by Brazilian agribusiness companies for the production of soybeans, maize and other commodity crops that will be exported by Japanese multinationals.

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Basic Data
NameProgramme of Triangular Cooperation for Developing Agriculture in the Tropical Savannahs of Mozambique (ProSavana)
ProvinceNampula, Niassa and Zambezia in the Nacala corridor
SiteProSavana covers 19 districts in Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Niassa and Zambezia Provinces
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Specific CommoditiesOther crops
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe project has three components: ProSavana - PI (research project) that began in April 2011 and lasts until March 2016; ProSavana - PD (master plan) running from March 2012 until 2014; and ProSavana - PEM (extension and design) taking place between May 2012 and May 2019.
Project Area (in hectares)14,000,000 ha (corridor)
Level of Investment (in USD)36,207,210
Type of PopulationRural
Start Date2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesGV Agro, a subsidiary of Brazils Fundação Getulio Vargas
Hoyo Hoyo Agribusiness from Portugal
Africa Century Agriculture from United Kingdom
Rei do Agro from United States of America
Suni from South Africa - 600 hectares
Nitori Holdings from Japan - granted a concession to grow cotton on 20,000 hectares of land, and the people who live there will be resettled elsewhere
Agromoz from Mozambique - Producing soy on 10,000 hectares
Relevant government actorsBrazil, Japan and Mozambique Governments

The Ministry of Agriculture of Mozambique

Brazil Minister of Exterior Relations

Brazil's agricultural research agency, Embrapa

Mozambique's Institute for Agricultural Research (IIAM)

International and Financial InstitutionsJapan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) from Japan
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersGRAIN, National Peasants Union (of Mozambique) (from La Via Campesina), Nampula Civil Society Provincial Platform (PPOSC-N), Justiça Ambiental, JA!/ FoE Mozambique (Mozambique)

Forum Mulher (Mozambique)

Livaningo (Mozambique)

LPM - Landless Peoples Mouvement (Member of Via Campesina . South Africa)

Agrarian Reform for Food Sovereignty Campaign (Member os Via Campesina - South Africa)

AFRA - Association for Rural Advancement (South Africa)


Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) (*The world's largest grassroots international environmental federation with 74 national member groups and more than two million individual members.)

National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) / Friends of the Earth (FoE) Uganda

FoE Swaziland

Amigos da Terra Brasil / FoE Brazil

Movimiento Madre Tierra, Honduras

NOAH Friends of the Earth Denmark

GroundWork (South Africa)

Amigos de la Tierra España / Friends of the Earth Spain

Environmental Rights Action / FoE Nigeria

Sahabat Alam Malaysia/ FOE Malaysia

SOBREVIVENCIA, Friends of the Earth Paraguay

CESTA, FOE El Salvador

Earth Harmony Innovators (South Africa)

Ukuvuna (South Africa)

FoE Africa

Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre (Zambia)

The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Social movements
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of alternative proposals
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity)
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition, Other Health impacts
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Land dispossession
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseMigration/displacement
Invitation to meetings by the goverment but not real voice is given to those opposing to meetings.
Development of AlternativesAn open letter signed by 23 Mozambican social organisations and movements and 43 international organisations and addressed to the leaders of Brazil, Japan and Mozambique and signed on 23 May 2013 in Maputo calls for the environmental impact assessment required by law, the immediate suspension of the programme, an official dialogue with all affected segments of society, a priority on family farming and agroecology, and a policy based on food sovereignty.

They also said that all the resources allocated to ProSavana should be "reallocated to efforts to define and implement a National Plan for the Support of Sustainable Family Farming".

They write: "The breadth and grandeur of the ProSavana programme contrast with the failure of the law and the total absence of a deep, broad, transparent and democratic public debate,"
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The project is currently active, and some projects have been implemented on the ground.
Sources and Materials

Nogueira and Ollinaho, 2013. A case study of Brazilian interventions in the Nacala corridor development program

Cabral, L., Shankland, A., Locke, A., Duran, J. 2012. Mozambique’s agriculture and Brazil’s cerrado model: Miracle or mirage? GREAT Insights, 1 (10), December.

Cabral, L. & Shankland, A. 2013. Narratives of Brazil-Africa Cooperation for Agricultural Development: New Paradigms? FAC Working Paper 051, Future Agricultures Consortium.

From Rhetoric to Practice in South-South Development Cooperation: A case study of Brazilian interventions in the Nacala corridor

development program. Isabela Nogueira and Ossi Ollinaho
[click to view]

Analysis of the Discourse and Background of the ProSAVANA Programme in Mozambique – focusing on Japan’s role. Dr. Sayaka Funada Classen, Associate Professor, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
[click to view]


GRAIN. Brazilian Megaproject in Mozambique set to displace millions of peasants
[click to view]

Via Campesina
[click to view]

GRAIN. Leaked Prosavana Master Plan Confirms Worst Fears
[click to view]

UNAC letter
[click to view]

The Guardian. Mozambique Farmers Fear Brazilian Style Agriculture
[click to view]

Media Links

GRAIN slideshare ProSavana landgrab
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorLucia Arguelles & Leah Temper
Last update24/06/2014