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Women in the northern Mozambican province of Nampula complain of discrimination in the allocation of land by the government. Many have to rent land for cultivation – a situation confirmed by a Mozambican NGO.
Laura Namalata complains of discrimination in the allocation of land for cultivation. The farmer from Malema, long considered the granary of Nampula, Mozambique’s most populous province, says that many women are forced to rent or buy land for agricultural production, which is by law illegal.
“In our country, if a person wants to practice agriculture [on fertile lands] a certain amount is charged and if the person does not pay, then the person is pressured before harvesting the agricultural products. Few women have their own area of cultivation, many of them rent the fields,” she says.
Like Laura, many women from different districts of Nampula feel discriminated against in the allocation of Land Use and Exploitation (DUAT) titles – a state of affairs confirmed by the National Association of Rural Extension (AENA).
Reasons for discrimination
Jordão Matimula Júnior, the agrarian NGO’s executive director, says that there are two reasons for this discrimination in Mozambique.
“First, although women are fundamental to the productive process in rural areas, they are denied access to income management, which means that at the time of land titling they are unable to acquire its DUAT.”
The second aspect “is related to the cultural norms and practices that are experienced both in matrilinear as well as patrilinear regions, in which the woman, in the process of assignment by inheritance of land, loses their land rights in the communities in which they reside”, Júnior explains
In order to mitigate inequality in access to land and to encourage more women into agricultural production, AENA recently launched a two-year campaign called “Land Governance for Women” in Nampula, Júnior explains.
The campaign aims to “influence decision-makers so that women have the right to use land in the same proportion as men”, he explains.
Meanwhile, the government says it is and will continue to allocate land to women in the province. The number of land concessions to women in recent years has been rising in the province of Nampula under the ‘Terra Segura’ [Safe Land] programme, provincial head of Geography and Registration in the Directorate of Land, Environment and Rural Development, Cristóvão Macário says
According to Macário, “the numbers are satisfactory”, and he says that in the last survey conducted in 2018 there were around 7,500 parcels of land “exclusively for women in some districts, namely Rapale, Ribauè, Malema, Lalaua and Mecuburi, under ‘Sustenta'”.
This year, according to government authorities, more than 140,000 land use titles will be registered and offered to men and women in the coastal districts of Mossuril, Mogincual, Nacala-a-velha, Monapo and Memba.Source: Deutsche Welle