Agricultural investments in Mozambique: An analysis of investment trends, business models and social and environmental conduct

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The recent influx of agricultural investment to Africa is increasingly equated with land grabbing by investors from emerging and Northern economies seeking to produce commodities to serve the needs of their own food and energy markets. This paper reflects on this discourse by unpacking agricultural investments in Mozambique - one of the largest recipients of agricultural investment in Africa. By drawing on official investment data and structured interviews conducted with 69 agricultural investors in Mozambique, this paper analyzes agricultural investment trends, characteristics and the factors that shape investors' social and environmental conduct. It illustrates that, contrary to popular depiction, regional investors, domestic food end-markets, and private finance are the primary drivers of investment. Moreover, this paper shows that investors differ significantly in the types of strategies, business models and practices they adopt. The findings highlight a lack of nuance in the global agricultural investment discourse and the need for more evidence-based policy intervention in order to adequately leverage the potential of agricultural investments to contribute to inclusive green growth.

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