Nampula Civil Society Organizations' Provincial Platform
Press Release regarding the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Shinzo Abe, visit to Mozambique
The Nampula Civil Society Platform was established in 2009 as a coordinating mechanism for the initiatives of the Civil Society Organizations integrated in thematic and sector-wide networks, as well as to facilitate communication with public and private sector partners in pursuing development initiatives in the province.
Our country has followed the visit of Japan's Prime Minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe, on 11-12 January 2014 (Saturday and Sunday), as covered by the media, which culminated in the announcement of the extension of a line of credit of USD 672.000.000 (six hundred and seventy two million American dollars) for infrastructure and agriculture development projects.In return, the Prime Minister of Japan asked the Mozambican Government to support Japanese private sector investments.
The two statesmen praised the ProSAVANA agriculture development programme in the Nacala Corridor. However, in our opinion, this vision of ProSAVANA clashes with the vision expressed by peasants' associations from the Nacala Corridor affiliated with UNAC, civil society organizations and scholars from different fields, who have systematically voiced serious concern and distress regarding the consequences of this programme, which has grave implications for security of land tenure, food sovereignty and nutritional security, cultural integrity of the local communities and negative impacts on the environment and for the future generations.
Bearing in mind this picture of negative consequences deriving from the current neoliberal perception of agriculture based in commodity monocultures:
In June 2013 an Open Letter to Halt and Reflect on ProSAVANA was addressed to the Heads of State and Governments of Mozambique, Brazil and Japan which remains unanswered to date;
At the level of the Nampula Province, the Civil Society Platform has undertaken an analysis of ProSAVANA's Concept Note, as made available by the Provincial Directorate of Agriculture, concluding with its rejection by Civil Society and the recommendation that this Concept Note should instead be drafted in a participative way, through consultation with peasants' organizations and with the participation of civil society and expert scholars;
Renowned national scholars with vast experience in this field who shared their knowledge and wisdom regarding the design and critique of the programme have not received any attention or consideration.
It is our view that the Government of Japan's "generous support" takes place in a context of continued colonialism, now with the delegated management of 672 million American dollars, safeguarding, above all, the interests of international capital in Mozambique and disregarding all warnings over its negative effects.
We therefore disown the accord and declarations of the Heads of State and Government during the Japanese prime minister's visit and, once again, demand an answer to the Open Letter and the elaboration and implementation of a programme to genuinely build capacity, strengthen and effectively support the agrarian family sector.
Nampula, 13 January 2014
The Nampula Civil Society Organizations' Provincial Platform