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Date of publication: 
January 2020
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ISBN / Resource ID: 

A paper from the Agricultural Policy Research on Africa (APRA) programme in Zimbabwe supported by a DFID grant to IDS;Sussex. Explores the intersecting factors that have shifted pathways of commercialisation;mostly of tobacco and maize;in Mvurwi area in northern Mazowe district;Zimbabwe;since 1890. Looks at five periods;starting with early colonisation by white settlers;then examines the consolidation of ‘European agriculturefollowing World War II;before investigating the liberation war era from the mid-1970s. The period after Independence is then reflected upon;concluding with the period since 2000 and the major land reform programme that transferred significant amounts of land to resettlement schemes for new farmers. Explores the political economy of state-farmer alliances; the pattern of state investment and subsidy in agriculture; changes in agricultural labour regimes; the dynamics of markets; rural-urban migration; and the role of technology and environmental change;asking how each affects what type of commercial agriculture emerges;and where. A central concern is who gains and who loses in this process. Concludes with a reflection on how pathways of commercialisation have emerged through crises;conjunctures and contingencies.

Authors and Publishers

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

Rachael Knight (IIED


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Mokoro is pleased to host the ’Land Rights in Africa’ site as a contribution to the land rights dialogue and related debates. This website was created in January 2000 by Robin Palmer, and was originally housed by Oxfam GB, where Robin worked as a Land Rights Adviser. A library of resources on land rights in Africa – with a particular focus on women’s land rights and on the impact of land grabbing in Africa – the portal has been well received by practitioners, researchers and policy makers, and has grown considerably over the years.

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