Farmers in Mozambique are calling on the governments of Japan, Brazil and Mozambique to halt a project aimed at supporting agricultural development there, saying it will result in land grabs.

Members of the National Peasants Union, known as UNAC, which represents peasants across Mozambique, and representatives of international nongovernmental organizations issued an open letter Wednesday that the ProSavana program is designed to facilitate foreign investment and will jeopardize the local production system based on family-run agriculture.

Japan and Brazil agreed in 2009 to develop a vast area of savanna in northern Mozambique, encompassing more than 10 million hectares in three provinces. They planned to make use of their experience in developing Brazil's Cerrado savanna area for farming.