Following Mozambique’s independence from Portugal in 1975, development strategy emphasized the need for rapid and profound structural change. The FRELIMO-led government inherited an economy with a highly rural-based and impoverished population. Over 80 per cent of the country’s ten million people lived in rural areas. FAO data indicate that 85.5 per cent of the economically-active population depended for their livelihood on agriculture (FAO, 1986, p. 65). A large proportion of the economically-active male population was made up of ‘semi-proletarians’ who, under colonial rule, had been obliged through a system of forced recruitment to work several months of the year as seasonal plantation workers. An estimated 100 000 men from the south of the country were also employed in the gold mines of South Africa. The local population that remained on the land was forced to grow certain crops, such as cotton, rice and cassava.


Consumer Good State Farm Black Market Food Policy Communal Village 
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Copyright information

© United Nations Research Institute for Social Development 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Utting
    • 1
  1. 1.United Nations Research Institute for Social DevelopmentGenevaSwitzerland

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