Annan or Obama: Who’s got it best for Mozambique?

Former United Nations chief Kofi Annan and U.S. President Barack Obama. Photos by: Marcel Bieri and Pete Souza

How can Mozambique spur the development of its agriculture sector? The country can choose from two “incompatible” models backed by a former U.N. chief and the current U.S. president.

That’s according to Joseph Hanlon of the London School of Economics and University of Manchester. He says Mozambique’s choice is between the “Kofi Annan model” that seeks “more government action and more support for small farmers” as well as a “fundamental change” in donor policies and the “Obama model” that proposes using big agribusiness to fight hunger in the country and five others.

The difference between the two models, Hanlon says, is on how each proposes to use Mozambique’s land. He explains:

“Under the Obama model, giant northern agribusinesses like Cargill would – with G8 help – take the underused land and end poverty through what the [African Progress Panel] calls ‘the pattern of trickle-down growth.’ The Annan model would upgrade millions of peasant farms to up to 5 hectares each, using most of the available land, but providing initial support with mechanical ploughing, inputs and assured markets.”

Which model do you think would best help develop Mozambique’s agriculture? Are there alternative approaches? Have your say, leave a comment below.

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About the author

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributes to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.

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