Mozambique, 2014

The Niassa province in northern Mozambique is mainly covered by open farmlands, bushes, shrubs - and tree plantations. Huge areas covered with pine and eucalyptus, all the same size. The trees are owned by Chikweti, a forest company founded by the Västerås deacony of the Swedish church. They came here in 2006 to do profit on the fertile soil, but also to bring social development to the area. It didn´t take long before they were accused of land grabbing and the cause of conflicts in affected villages.

Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world with 80% of the population depending on subsistence farming. Especially the north is sparsely populated, and the climate is perfect for farming and forestry. Good, unused, farmland is scarce in the world today, and many are the companies trying to take control of what´s left. Mozambique and other poor countries often welcome the companies, saying they bring development and money to areas in need of both.

Copyright © Erik Abel.