Working Paper
The Agrarian Question in Mozambique's Transition and Reconstruction

The economic policies of transition and reconstruction in Mozambique, like the policies of central planning beforehand, were based on an inappropriate model of the inherited rural economy. Under central planning, the peasantry was looked upon as a mass of subsistence producers; with the economic reforms came the vision of the peasantry as a mass of smallholder producers. Both these views ignored the extent to which peasant livelihoods depended on the complex and varied linkages between wage labour and household production. Under the impulse of the reforms both the social and regional differentiation of the countryside has become far more pronounced. The processes at work involved a partial regression to past patterns of accumulation and labour use. Although this process can undoubtedly lead to the recovery and growth of agricultural production, it is unlikely to provide a basis for broad-based development due to the persistent and continued exclusion of the poorer peasantry from the benefits of economic growth.