Journal Article

The Journal of Peasant Studies

Of Zinc Roofs and Mango Trees: Tractors, the State and Agrarian Dualism in Mozambique

Published on 11 March 2021

This paper reviews the latest mechanisation programme by the Mozambican government, asking how it is politically driven and how it shapes and is shaped by agrarian structures.

Old ideas about agrarian dualism are reproduced today, albeit with a new language of public-private partnerships that are seen as potentially driving the modernisation of the peasantry. State-sponsored and privately-run service centres, featuring zinc roofed warehouses, are the government’s preferred route to modernisation, yet failing to reach the average farmer and understanding the motives and predicaments of private managers. Emerging small to medium farmers, who keep tractors under shady mango trees in their backyards, are also offering mechanisation services to their peers, which are instrumental to stepping up their production and commercial activities. The state’s push for mechanisation feeds uneven patterns of accumulation and social differentiation.

Cite this publication

Cabral, L. (2021) 'Of Zinc Roofs and Mango Trees: Tractors, the State and Agrarian Dualism in Mozambique', The Journal of Peasant Studies, doi: 10.1080/03066150.2020.1860026


Lídia Cabral

Rural Futures Cluster Lead; Co-founder, Food Equity Centre

Publication details

published by
Taylor and Francis
Cabral, Lídia


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