Peasant agriculture in Mozambique: The case of Chokwe, Gaza Province

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From independence in 1975 to the Fourth Congress in 1983, the Frelimo government established large state farms, set agricultural prices, dominated the marketing system and networks, and contained the growth of private capitalist farmers. After the Congress, state policy was reversed: the Mozambican government dismantled many of the country's state farms, distributing land to peasant and private farmers, and withdrew from many spheres that it formerly dominated. This article is a close textual field examination of one such transition. The case study is Chokwe, formerly the home of the Complexo Agro-industrial do Limpopo - CAIL - the largest state agro-industrial complex in Mozambique. Chokwe is an agriculturally important area located in the country's southern province of Gaza. Here, the government first implemented its land reform policy in 1983, distributing state farm land to peasants and private farmers. The data for this article are based on extensive research in the District of Chokwe from 1986 to 1987, observing and conducting multiple follow-up interviews with peasants and private farmers. I worked particularly closely with rural producers in Lionde, one of the 15 villages near the Chokwe irrigation scheme. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-379
Number of pages25
JournalCanadian Journal of African Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Development
  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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