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Understanding innovation: exploring interactions between large-scale land investments and small-scale farmers in Mozambique

Talhada, S. d. A. C. I. (2018) Understanding innovation: exploring interactions between large-scale land investments and small-scale farmers in Mozambique. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

That small-scale farmers benefit from large-scale land investments (LSLIs) in developing countries is an argument put forward by supporters of LSLIs, which include governments in target countries and development partners, such as the World Bank. The aim of this study is to examine the interactions between LSLIs and small-scale farmers and to evaluate the extent to which these investments support or undermine innovations in small-scale farming, and how they do so. It employs an innovation system framework as an approach to explore interactions between small-scale farmers and LSLIs. With an emphasis on qualitative methods, it combines household surveys, in-depth interviews and group interviews in a mixed method research design. The findings highlight that the government’s paternalistic attitude towards small-scale farmers encourages implementation of LSLIs as a development strategy. However, the findings reveal a complex picture of LSLIs, presenting features of both development opportunities and land grabbing. These two qualities of LSLIs are also related to the cropping system insofar as technological interactions characterise LSLIs and small-scale farmers’ interactions in the vegetable sector, whereas land conflicts are important as a feature of their interactions in the sugarcane sector. The findings concerning the social relations of production in both vegetable and sugarcane sectors indicate that distribution of tasks and responsibilities, within households and associations, are based on age and gender. The older and male village inhabitants are able to control main sources of cash income whereas the female members of the community are for the most part engaged in subsistence agriculture and perform a secondary role in situations in which agriculture is the main source of cash for the household. In addition to this, the way in which small-scale farmers are organised within associations, i.e., as a collective farm in the sugarcane sector and as individual production units in the vegetable sector, affect how and the extent to which LSLIs contribute to innovation in small-scale farming.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Arnall, A. and Osbahr, H.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Economic and Social Sciences Division
ID Code:77844

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