Aviam Ltd, a Mozambican company with Italian interests is on the verge of losing its license for the exploration of 10,000 hectares of land at a Jatropha plantation in the district of Nacala-a-Velha, in the northern province of Nampula, local reports revealed on Sunday.
The possible withdrawal stemmed from Aviam’s seemed inability to honor the terms of the project, budgeted at $20 million, which includes building a bio-diesel plant and outlining social responsibility programs to benefit the host community.
Felismino Tocoli, the governor of Nampula province was quoted as saying that there was enough evidence showing that Aviam Ltd had failed to comply with the regulations after the Ministry of Agriculture granted it 10,000 hectares of land for a Jatropha plantation.
It was widely reported that Aviam had only planted about 150 hectares at Jatropha, apparently to serve as a nursery, and hired 150 workers from the regions of Namige, Kathupa, Paton and Micolene. Two years later the number fell to 100.
“This project was authorized at the central government level because Aviam had applied for an area exceeding 1,000 hectares. After it failed on the terms of the deal, we are left with no other option other than to notify the relevant authorities that progress on the ground was few and far between”, the governor explained.
Recently, local residents near the Jatropha plantation had threatened to demonstrations in anger over Aviam’s failure to respect its social responsibility. With the intervention of district authorities, the situation was diffused.
Since the cancellation of a project to build an oil refinery in the district of Nacala-a-Velha, local residents had expected Aviam to create jobs, which are otherwise scarce for young people living in the region.
Source African Press Agency
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