Agrarian Change and Social Transformation in Mozambique: 1928-2006
This honors thesis considers the main lines of agrarian transformation in Mozambique in the context of two major political and social transitions: from the period of late colonial rule to the post-independence socialist oriented policies under The Liberation Front of Mozambique (Frelimo); and from the latter to the market oriented set of policies that became dominant in the post-Cold War era. The primary focus is on the transition from socialist policies characterized by the creation of cooperatives, state farms, and communal villages; to market-led transformations characterized by a system of private property in land and a system of production and exchange for the market. In the process, I look at the IMF-imposed Structural Adjustment Program and the civil war with the Renamo (The Mozambican National Resistance) movement that was armed and backed by apartheid South Africa, in shaping the nature of this transition. I find that the creation of cooperatives, state farms, and communal villages was not successful at integrating peasants and bringing together communities to increase production largely because the policies implemented did not reflect the needs and desires of the peasantry. They often were inimical to the situation many peasants found themselves in. I also find that the liberalization of the economy was laden with policies that were unfavorable to the peasantry. The privatization of the cooperatives and state farms was accompanied by the reduction of state funded projects such as the development of rural infrastructures and road networks that are crucial in linking peasants to marketplaces. In the future, Mozambique will need to empower local communities and develop rural markets and infrastructure if it is to increase production and generate a positive dynamic of development that can improve rural peoples livelihood and decrease levels of poverty.
Dissertation or Thesis