30 September 2013 | Português
Nampula Civil Society Provincial Platform says proponents of large-scale agribusiness project are using manipulative and intimidating actions to divide, compartmentalise and weaken Mozambican civil society.
The Nampula Civil Society Provincial Platform
The Nampula Civil Society Provincial Platform (PPOSC-N) was established in 2009 as a mechanism to coordinate the initiatives of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that are participate in the thematic and sectoral networks, as well as to facilitate communication with public and private sector partners in carrying out provincial development initiatives.
The implementation of the ProSavana initiative for the development of agriculture in the Nacala Corridor region has given rise to discussion on the part of the PPOSC-N Agriculture and Natural Resources network and its Governance network . Following the recent developments in the implementation of this programme and the pronouncements by the authorities associated with the provincial agriculture sector in an interview/ debate broadcast on TVM (17/09/2013 at 20:30 and repeated on the morning of 18/9/2013) on the status of the implementation of ProSavana, in which the Nampula Provincial Director of Agriculture and the ProSavana provincial focal point took part, with the participation of the representative of the Nampula Provincial Nucleus of Small-Scale Farmers, who spoke about the involvement of the provincial civil society, PPOSC-N would like to clarify and position itself in the following terms :
1. We reaffirm that the Open Letter on Halting and Deliberation of ProSavana, addressed to Heads of State and Government party to the programme, which calls for the cessation, deliberation and change in the approach to the support offered to the small-scale agricultural sector, and which is still awaiting for the response of the Government of Mozambique, is the basis of the PPOSC-N agenda.
2. PPOSC-N – in particular CSOs party to the Open Letter – do not recognise that ProSavana – at least as it has been argued - is a programme that will promote the small-scale agricultural sector, which aims to protect the interests of the small-scale farmers, who continually see their life deteriorating.
3. PPOSC-N recognises the legitimacy of the National Union of Small-Scale Farmers (UNAC) to represent Mozambican small-scale farmers as the most extensive national organisation defending their interests and with provincial delegations. In Nampula there are District Forums and Unions of Small-scale Farmer Associations, whether affiliated to UNAC or not, which have the legitimacy to represent farmers' interests. As such, UNAC is an organisation that cannot be ignored in the debate on policies, strategies and actions affecting agriculture in Mozambique.
4. Nampula CSOs that are signatories to the Open Letter stand by UNAC and the District Forums and Unions of [of Small-scale Farmer] Associations in the struggle to defend their rights and interests and on the strength of that, have the right to offer technical advice, uphold their interests and stay vigilant, so that these [rights and interests] are not manipulated by private and international interests and [they can] blow the whistle on any such attempts at manipulation.
5. The opening of dialogue by PPOSC-N with representatives of the agricultural sector at provincial level is driven by the need to search for a better understanding of the position of our government regarding strengthening the small-scale agricultural sector. Up to now, no technical council has been created between the Nampula DPA [Provincial Directorate of Agriculture]/ ProSavana and PPOSC-N to discuss the ProSavana project. Therefore, no agreement has been signed between the DPA/ ProSavana team and PPOSC-N. The [proceedings of] meetings that have been held are recorded in the minutes of meetings signed by the parties. In these meetings, PPOSC-N has tried to identify the issues to be looked at in terms of rural development and the small-scale farming sector and the rules of engagement and agree on the points to be discussed in the future, which has so far not happened.
6. PPOSC-N deplores the manipulative and intimidating actions carried out by proponents of ProSavana, as expressed in their attempts to divide, compartmentalise and weaken Mozambican civil society. Following UNAC’s Northern Regional Conference held in Lichinga (Niassa [Province]) on 28 and 29 August, proponents of ProSavana invited to the conference organised a parallel event on the 30th with civil society organisations in Niassa, making their representatives sign a set of minutes in which they agree that that group is the focal point for discussion about ProSavana in Niassa. However, during the conference itself, the farmers, members of UNAC, repeatedly expressed disagreement with ProSavana’s approach and demanded the Halting and Deliberation in an Urgent Manner of the ProSavana Programme according to what was demanded in the Open Letter.
7. In the same vein as the previous point, PPOSC-N deplores the attitude of JICA (Japanese Cooperation), which plays an ambiguous and nebulous role, as expert staff, as diplomats and as advisers, since according to what we observe – they play a leading role in the relationship with, on the one hand, the ProSavana national team, but on the other hand, with senior advisers that seek to remain discreet at crucial moments of the discussion.
8. PPOSC-N believes that dialogue is still the best strategy to discuss a new approach to small-scale farming and rural development, focused on national leadership. However, continued attempts at manipulation and sowing division among organisations of small-scale farmers and civil society in general on this issue could lead to other strategies being considered to enforce the constitutional rights of small-scale farmers.
9. PPOSC-N recognises that women play a crucial role in Mozambican agriculture and in all processes and means of rural life and as such must be the object of specific discussion in the design of policies on agriculture and rural areas.
Nampula, 30 September, 2013
The Provincial Platform of the Civil Society of Nampula
Travessa da Rua no1065 – Bairro dos Poetas
Email: [email protected]
Tel: + 258 26218541; + 258 826061426
Fax: + 258 26218638