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Large-scale land acquisitions aggravate the feminization of poverty: findings from a case study in Mozambique
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5522-5280
West Virginia University, Morgantown, United States.
Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0260-3978
2018 (English)In: GeoJournal, ISSN 0343-2521, E-ISSN 1572-9893, p. 1-22Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The local implications of large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs), commonly referred to as land grabs, are at the center of an exponential production of scientific literature that only seldom focuses on gender. Our case study aims to contribute to filling this analytical gap. Based on structured interviews and focus groups, we investigate local experiences in the lower Limpopo valley in Mozambique, where a Chinese investor was granted 20,000 hectares in 2012. Our findings show that land access in the affected area varied prior to land seizure due to historical land use differences and after land seizure mainly due to non-universal compensation. Furthermore, we show that as farming conditions deteriorate, a trend toward both the feminization of smallholder farming and the feminization of poverty is consolidated. Succinctly, as available land becomes increasingly constricted, labor is allocated differently to alternative activities. This process is by no means random or uniform among households, particularly in a context in which women prevail in farm activities and men prevail in off-farm work. As men disengage further from smallholder farming, women remain directly dependent on fields that are smaller and of worse quality or reliant on precarious day labor in the remaining farms. We contend that the categories female-headed and male-headed households, although not inviolable, are useful in explaining the different implications of LSLAs in areas in which gender strongly substantiates individuals’ livelihood alternatives. © 2018 The Author(s)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. p. 1-22
Keywords [en]
Female-headed households, Feminization of poverty, Gender, Land grabbing, Large-scale land acquisition, Mozambique’s Limpopo valley, Land use, Land acquisition, Mozambique, Mergers and acquisitions
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Environmental Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-34697DOI: 10.1007/s10708-017-9836-1Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85042138941OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-34697DiVA, id: diva2:1187004
Note

Fieldwork for the study entitled “Large-scale land acquisitions aggravate the feminization of poverty: Findings from a case study in Mozambique” was funded by the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography, and the foundation Forskraftstiftelsen Theodor Adelswärds Minne.

Available from: 2018-03-02 Created: 2018-03-02 Last updated: 2018-07-05Bibliographically approved

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