Then he approved.” The Church tries to inform the people, to explain to them what their rights are and what losing their land could mean for them. But this isn’t easy. For they don’t all have the same view on the matter. Younger people in particular say: “Surely it’s good to have something new. Or do you want to carry on slogging away in the fields with your bare hands and our old tools forever?”

Partnerships with smallholders announced

One of the driving forces behind the Beira Corridor is the fertiliser manufacturer Yara, from Norway. Seeking new markets for its products, the company is campaigning for “partnership with agriculture and food companies” and intends to “embrace subsistence farmers rather than exclude them”, as a paper commissioned by Yara announces. This approach, supported by almost 30 countries across the world and by government donors from Norway, Brazil, Japan, the USA and the United Kingdom and financed by the World Bank, is said to be “unusual, but potentially revolutionary”.

Vision and reality

Investments are planned for a total of 150 new large-scale farms up to 2030, the Investment Blueprint (2010 – 2030) states.