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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 March 27 - April 2  >  JCP Inoue urges government to review ODA-funded agriculture development program in Mozambique
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2019 March 27 - April 2 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP Inoue urges government to review ODA-funded agriculture development program in Mozambique

April 1, 2019
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Councilors Inoue Satoshi on March 19 demanded that the government take local farmers' opposition into consideration and stop promoting an ODA-funded large-scale farming project in Mozambique without local consent.

At a meeting of the House Special Committee on Official Development Assistance and Related Matters, Inoue brought up problems over the development project ProSavana in Mozambique which is Japan’s ODA-funded project. Inoue cited the fact that the Japan International Cooperation Agency suspended its support for the ProSavana master plan in May 2017.

Inoue said that the reason for the suspension was that in accordance with JICA’s guidelines for environmental and social considerations, a complaint was filed in protest against the ProSavana project which is being conducted in defiance of local opposition.

In reply, Foreign Minister Kono Taro said that based on an examination report on the complaint, JICA resumed its support to formulate the master plan in March 2018 on condition of including the participation of the residents who oppose the ProSavana project in the decision-making process.

Inoue referred to a meeting hosted by the Mozambican agricultural authorities. Inoue pointed out that opponents of the ODA-funded development project sent their regrets to an invitation to the meeting, but it was forcibly held. Furthermore, Inoue noted that a JICA-backed organization repeatedly forced local farmers’ groups to meet with the project promoters, which seemed to these farmers to be a threat. Inoue criticized such a coercive way to meet with local protesters, saying that the pro-development project forces are trying to force a developer-residents dialogue to be held.

Inoue cited that a Mozambique court has recognized that the ProSavana project infringes on local people’s right to access information, and demanded that the Japanese government review the project based on the court judgement.

He also reported that in a rally held in the Upper House members’ office building in November 2018, representatives of a farmers’ organization from Mozambique in turn said that under the ProSavana project, small-scale farmers will be eliminated and Mozambican civil society will suffer undue intrusion and disruption. Inoue said that the Japanese government should take these voices of concern seriously.

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