Hanlon, Joseph and Cunguara, Benedito
Whose wealth is it anyway? mozambique’s outstanding economic growth with worsening rural poverty.
Development and Change
Despite rapid economic growth and massive inflows of aid, in Mozambique rural poverty is worsening. Agricultural production and productivity have not increased in the last decade. Use of chemical fertilisers and other modern technology is low and decreasing. The present development model emphasises that the government and donor role is to provide human capital and infrastructure, while the private sector is responsible for economic development and ending poverty. The most recent national surveys confirm what is being seen elsewhere in Africa, that this non-interventionist strategy does not raise agricultural productivity or reduce poverty. Of Mozambique’s population, 80 per cent is engaged in agriculture, but contributing only one fifth of the GDP. This suggests that investments in agriculture are likely to generate pro-poor growth, both to rural and urban dwellers. The policy failure is increasingly recognised, but donors and government have invested too much political capital in this policy to change easily
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