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Proasvala Essay

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3.4. Critiques and contestation ProSAVANA has sparked much controversy between civil society and governments. With a view to further illustrating the lack of novelty of Brazil’s SSDC approach, this section will examine more closely some of the most common critiques facing the programme. One of the most contested aspects is the pool of solutions proposed to address Mozambique’s malaises. Civil society actors stress that the programme’s focus on raising agricultural efficiency by means of increased use of modern agricultural technology might not be the best strategy (Chichava & Duran 2016) to tackle the numerous constraints hindering the development of the sector, which include structural issues related to the legacy of civil war and weak…show more content…
Such disconnect between the claims made by ProSAVANA to its investors and the reality of the situation gave rise to fears that it might carry a tremendous social impact, and could lead to land grabbing. Overall, as the data demonstrates, Brazil’s South–South development model operationalised in ProSAVANA is severely lacking in innovation and sensitivity for local concerns. Overall, the programme is embedded in a retroliberal understanding of development that exhumes elements of the modernisation theory, which sees ‘growth’ as a natural precursor of ‘development’ and assumes a confluence of interests among all parties involved. Surely, the strengthened role of the private sector in development initiatives may indeed lead to upgrades in ‘headline’ growth figures in Mozambique. However, as the existing literature indicates, the major beneficiaries of such strategies tend to be business elites, whereas the outcomes for ordinary taxpayers, workers and citizens are not only much less guaranteed but also sometimes detrimental (ActionAid 2014). Therefore, a chief concern is that such ideals envisioned by ProSAVANA will exclude the overwhelming majority of the Mozambican population from the benefits of development. 3.5. ProSAVANA as an instantiation of retroliberalism and the Southern dominance ‘from above’ As evidenced by the aforementioned discourse-praxis gaps, Brazil’s South–South experiment is aligned with the
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