Statement on the public consultation process about the Master Plan Zero version of ProSAVANA April 2015

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14 May 2015

Statement on the public consultation process about the Master Plan Zero version of ProSAVANA April 2015

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The consultation to institutions, economic actors and communities directly and indirectly related to the implementation of investment projects is one of the conditions imposed by law in the Republic of Mozambique to ensure the human rights of citizens. Contributions, knowledge and empowerment allow greater involvement, coordination and supervision and coordination.

A consultation program was carried out by institutions of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and by the provincial and district governments, from 20 to 29 April 2015, at the level of districts covered by the ProSAVANA in the provinces of Niassa, Nampula and Zambezia.

The civil society organizations endorsing this release demand to those in charge of the hearing program on Version Zero Master Plan of ProSAVANA be reviewed in the forms of preparation and disclosure of the documents and advertising, dissemination, debate and spatial and social coverage of the territory covered by ProSAVANA and to start a new consultation program eliminating the errors found.

Considering that:
Inappropriate and delayed availability of preparatory documentation
• Following the Open Letter to the Heads of State to stop and reflect on the ProSAVANA and the latest protests by civil society in response to the Concept Note of September 2013, published by ProSAVANA, the publication of the Master Plan (Master Plan) was expected to take place earlier, in the beginning of this year.
The Master Plan Zero version was made available on the internet at http://www.ProSAVANA.gov.mz/files/files/N/0215/BIB27/1.Master_Plan_Draft_Zero_Mai n_Revisao.pdf (204 pages) and http: //www.ProSAVANA. gov.mz/files/files/N/0215/BIB27/2.PD_Summary.pdf (39-page summary), dated March 2015.

Inappropriate, incomplete and delayed disclosure of public consultation program
• The public consultation program taking place in the districts was announced in a Press Release on March 31, 2015, with the beginning of these hearings the 20th of April. Considering the difficulties of access to information in the districts, the notice of 20 days is extremely scarce.
• Some organizations have received from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security official information (a letter) of the timetable of hearings on April 30, signed by its Permanent Secretary on April 27, 2015, long after the hearings have started and two days before the end of the announced timetable.
• No invitation or information was sent to any civil society organization, despite the press release # 3 stating that "The objective of the consultation was to present and discuss with stakeholders, particularly communities in general, community authorities, public institutions and private, academia, producer organizations and civil society ...".
• This Press Release 3 (dated April 27) announced the schedule of meetings at the level of provincial capitals: Quelimane (already on April 30), Lichinga (May 8) and Nampula (May 13).

Inadequate and disorganized compliance with the program announced:
• The program was conducted only in district headquarters and one administrative post in each district having been no consultation session in localities.
• There have been several cases of schedule and / or location changes of the sessions with no prior information to potential participants ("audience"), which hampered the participation of stakeholders.
• The presentations were held in Portuguese with translation into the local language, but there was no translation for the debates - questions and / or answers.
Non-inclusive and ineffective presentations (not hearings)
• The hearings were held in small rooms in the facilities of district governments with the participation of 50 to 100 people (of all the inhabitants of each district) and lasted about three hours, where the 204-page Master Plan Version Zero should be discussed. At the district level, the documentation was not provided timely to allow the discussion at the local level to formulate ideas.
• The hearings showed a similar structure. The agenda included arrival, registration and introduction of the participants, followed by an intervention by the District Administrator or his representative. After these introductory questions, were followed by a presentation (in
the form of slides) for about an hour (including translation) of the Master Plan Version Zero which was quite brief, generalized, optimistic, superficial and politicized. A great length of time was spent with the presentation, which was followed by a brief period for questions or contributions of the participants, and responses or comments from representatives of ProSAVANA and the District Government.
• Participants in the consultation sessions were mostly public employees, such as heads of administrative posts, heads of localities, technical and extension staff of the District Services of Economic Activities (SDAEs), teachers, nurses and police officers (some armed). Also attended by Secretaries of the Frelimo Party and traders, and in some cases, pre-selected farmers, producers’ associations and community leaders.
• Presenters (not hearing facilitators) have not shown any command on the issues presented and participating peasants questioned about their role in implementing the program and its benefits. None of the participants or groups of participants had access, knowledge or discussed the document in advance.
• The language of the presentations was inadequate to the public for whom the presentation was intended.

Imprecise, general and superficial presentations
• The presentation suggested the ProSAVANA as the solution of all the problems that have occurred in the agricultural sector, particularly in the family sector. According to the presentation made, the ProSAVANA is a risk and danger free program for small farmers, for the environment and for rural areas and aims to introduce new agricultural development models in order to improve the life of the Nacala corridor population.
• In repeated and systematic manner the representatives of the Government / ProSAVANA insisted on presenting a picture and speech that the ProSAVANA is a Mozambicans program for Mozambicans and only relies on the cooperation of Brazil and Japan governments. No officials from government or from the respective cooperation agencies of these countries took part in the hearings.

Key questions presented and unanswered
Throughout the hearings questions were posed by different representatives of civil society organizations, representatives of religious institutions and by some producers.
The questions that were more highlighted were the following:

• What activities have been already carried out under the ProSAVANA?
• What are the negative effects or risks arising from of the implementation of
ProSAVANA? And why these were not addressed during the presentations?
• What mechanisms or guarantees will be adopted by the ProSAVANA to prevent or avoid
grabbing or expropriation?
• Will the ProSAVANA fulfill all the goals and objectives presented? Will the ProSAVANA have really ability to provide the promised to the communities?
• Who are the parts signing the 'contracts'? What measures will be taken to mitigate the risks of production by contract?
• What are the procedures to support DUAT granting and comply with the procedures for community consultations?
• How will food security and the free choice of the peasant to produce crops according to their sovereign decisions be guarantee?
• What will be done in terms of environmental preservation?
• How and who will monitor the activities and projects of ProSAVANA?
• What is the gender approach ProSAVANA?
• How will the ProSAVANA solve the low producer prices of agricultural products?
• How will the ProSAVANA improve infrastructure supporting production?
• How agricultural extension and support to farmers will improve?

The answers were mostly vague and left bigger doubts. The focal point of ProSAVANA of Nampula Province made a speech using justifications based on phrases like "free speech" and "demands from the historical context." They suggested that the doubts and clarifications arising from the negative speculation about the ProSAVANA be put to the district government representatives (administrator or leaders).

The speeches were complemented by appeals from representatives of the district government to accept the program.

In some places the representatives of the District government referred to the "intrusion" by none-local individuals with questions and comments unwarranted, offensive and presented arrogantly. Citing the Monapo administrator, during a consultation session, "those of large cities speak as if representing the peasants, who do not know what farm is... use the name of the peasants to earn per diems." One can only infer that it was intended that "outsiders" (members of civil society, academics and others not preselected) intended to cause agitation around the ProSAVANA activities.

In short the hearings Master Plan Version Zero were wrong because they were:
• Consultations were made when ProSAVANA activities have already started.
• They insufficient and disclosed belatedly considering the means used.
• Low territorial coverage (number of locations) for no apparent reason or clarified criteria,
territorial bias.
• Meager presence of peasants and small farmers and with a majority attendance by public officials in the sessions.
• Presentation overly hasty and without clarifying answers to the questions raised by those present.
• Mobilization and propaganda sessions in nature instead of dissemination, debate and
knowledge of the ProSAVANA program.

It is considered the presence of officials of the uniformed police (armed in one case) extremely unreasonable and could be considered an intimidating act.

Given the above, observed by members of civil society organizations, the civil society organizations subscribing this release consider the consultation program of the Master Plan Version Zero insufficient, incomplete, partial, propaganda and not discussed with the main economic players (farmers and their representative organizations).

The civil society organizations endorsing this release demand to those in charge of the hearing program on Version Zero Master Plan of ProSAVANA be reviewed in the forms of preparation and disclosure of the documents and advertising, dissemination, debate and spatial and social coverage of the territory covered by ProSAVANA and to start a new consultation program eliminating the errors found.

Considering ProSAVANA’s magnitude of, the Civil Society recommends that the ProSAVANA be brought to debate and legislated by Parliament.
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