UNAC is a national farmer movement in Mozambique that works for a fair and solider society in which human beings are the focus. UNAC strives to be a strong voice for the farmers and to showcase their interests in economic, social and political issues.

 

Background

About 80 percent of Mozambique’s population lives in the rural areas, and the majority earn their living through agriculture. An increasing number of foreign investors has started to take over large land areas in the country, which affects many small-scale farmers. Foreign companies and countries lease large land areas through agreements that often extend over several decades. The locals are often excluded from the process, despite the fact that their land is being taken and that they have to live with the consequences of this landgrabbing.

 

UNAC activities

UNAC has been working since 1987 to support the interests of Mozambican farmers. Today, the association has about 86,000 members around the country, participating in various farmer associations, cooperatives and groups. UNAC is working to draw attention to the farmers’ situation and to carry out actions to ensure that their rights are respected. The organization strengthens the farmers’ ability to participate in the social debate and their ability to defend their land through education and organization. UNAC also works for sustainable rural development and educates farmers in agricultural and organic farming.


Against landgrabbing

UNAC has seen the problem of landgrabbing escalating in Mozambique recently. One of many examples is a tree planting project in Niassa, among which Västerås Stift is involved. The project has led to the local population losing access to their cultivable land. Many people have lost their livelihoods and suffer from the lack of food. There is a great need to strengthen the capacity of locals to prevent farmers’ rights from being violated.

 

“The biggest challenge is building capacity on a local-level on how to influence investors and governments to prevent landgrabbing,” says Vincente Adriano, who works at UNAC.

 

UNAC supports small-scale struggle against landgrabbing as well as taking actions against political leaders and international companies operating in the country. Support from UNAC is important for farmers to claim their rights and being able to influence their future.

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