The Anatomy of Medium-Scale Farm Growth in Zambia: What Are the Implications for the Future of Smallholder Agriculture? | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
October 2015
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© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

Lost in the debates about the appropriate scale of production to promote agricultural growth in Africa is the rapid expansion of medium-scale farmers. Using Zambia as a case study, this article explores the causes and consequences of this middle-tier transformation on the future of small-scale agriculture. Combining political economic analysis with household survey data, this article examines the relationships between the growth in medium-scale farmers and changing conditions of land access, inequality, and alienation for small-scale farmers. Growth of medium-scale farmers is associated with high land inequality and rapid land alienation in high potential agricultural areas. This growth is shown to be partially driven by wage earner investment in land acquisition and is leading to substantial under-utilization of agricultural land. These processes are both limiting agricultural growth potential and foreclosing future options for an inclusive agricultural development strategy.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Sitko, Nicholas
Chamberlin, Jordan


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