The great land giveaway in Mozambique

by Timothy Wise

Introduced myself to Luis Sitoe, economic adviser to Mozambique’s minister of agriculture, and explained that I’d spent the last two weeks in his country researching the ProSAVANA project, decried as the largest land grab in Africa. This ambitious Brazil-Japan-Mozambique development project was slated to turn 35 million hectares (over 85 million acres) of Mozambique’s supposedly unoccupied savannah lands into industrial-scale soybean farms modeled on—and with capital from—Brazil’s savannah lands in its own southern Cerrado region.