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Abstract

Evidence of the impact of large-scale land transfers on household food security is scarce in Africa. This study investigated the effect of large-scale agricultural investments in the Monapo and Gurue districts of Mozambique. The sample of 504 households was classified into households (i) in which at least one member was employed (ii) households in the same area that were not employees of the agribusiness (non-engaged) and (iii) counterfactual households from another community. Although a third of households in the factual zones reported having lost land, severe hunger and food insecurity were not common. Employed households reported better dietary quality, food security and resilience. The counterfactual households had higher food security indexes than non-engaged households in the factual zones. It is not possible to draw concrete conclusions on whether the large-scale agricultural investments had a positive or negative effect on household food security as the effect could be influenced by a number of factors. In the case of female-headed households, dietary quality was worse among employed households. The study concludes that large-scale agricultural investments may provide employment opportunities in remote area and improve food security. However, policy makers and investors should take employment quotas for women into consideration when providing employment. Keywords: Large-scale agricultural investment, Food security, Mozambique, dietary diversity, coping strategies

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