Category Archives: Reblogged from zimbabweland

New research on land reform in Zimbabwe

Here is a useful summary of the papers presented by Leila Sinclair-Bright, Gareth James and Grasian Mkodzongi, at the ASAUK conference last week.

To accompany the recording of the discussion, here is a link to my own PowerPoint slides, which should help to further illustrate the points made during my presentation. I’m afraid it doesn’t make much sense without them, so I hope that those who are interested find this additional material both interesting and useful.

 

zimbabweland

As mentioned last week, the University of Sussex hosted the major biennial UK African Studies Association conference. Around 600 delegates were registered, and there was a real buzz, with panels on every conceivable topic from every corner of the continent. Quite a few papers reported on new work from Zimbabwe, and land and politics was a recurrent theme. In the end we had a single panel of three papers (as several panellists had to drop out at the last minute). It was a fascinating session to a standing-room-only audience.

The three panellists all reported on new research in the now not-so-new resettlements, representing different geographic areas, and diverse methodologies. All looked at how new livelihoods are being carved out following land reform in A1 sites. This included in-depth reflections on the relationships between farmers and farmworkers, a quantitative assessment of production outcomes across sites compared to communal and old resettlement…

View original post 1,265 more words

New book: Debating Zimbabwe’s Land Reform

A new book from Ian Scoones.

zimbabweland

a3 test

Blog readers may be interested in the recently published book Debating Zimbabwe’s Land Reform. It’s out now in a low-cost version and available through Amazon.

Its 60 chapters are a compilation of some of the blogs that have been published on Zimbabweland in the last few years. They are clustered around a series of themes, each introduced with a new introductory essay. The themes are agricultural and livestock production, the economy, political dimensions, land, livelihoods and rural development, aid and development, comparative lessons and researching land and agrarian.

This blog has gathered quite a following. Not everyone agrees with what is written, but it certainly has helped catalyse debate and is a forum for sharing new research, from our on-going studies in Masvingo, but also from others’ work elsewhere in the country.

Readers come from Zimbabwe, the UK, South Africa, the US and around 100 other countries, with the blog getting…

View original post 174 more words

Transforming Zimbabwe’s agrarian economy: why smallholder farming is important

zimbabweland

In a recent article in the Cape Times, prompted by Max du Preez’s review of Joe Hanlon and colleague’s book, Tony Hawkins (professor of economics at UZ) and Sholto Cross (research fellow at UEA) make the case that Zimbabwe’s land reform has been a disaster, and that a smallholder, ‘peasant’ farming is not a route to economic growth.

Beyond the wholly inappropriate ad hominem attack on Hanlon (respectable newspapers should not publish such insults I believe – although they have printed a response), what is their actual argument? The views of a neoliberal economist and a one-time communist should be interesting I thought.

The full-page article starts with a slightly bizarre critique of what has become to be known as ‘peasant studies’, a strand of academic work that has built over the years (it’s the 40th anniversary of the Journal of Peasant Studies this year – and…

View original post 1,557 more words

Beyond White Settler Capitalism: Zimbabwe’s Agrarian Reform

zimbabweland

An important new book – Land and Agrarian Reform in Zimbabwe: Beyond White Settler Capitalism – has just been published by CODESRIA. It is the product of the CODESRIA National Working Group on Zimbabwe, and is edited by Sam Moyo and Walter Chambati of the African Institute of Agrarian Studies. All 372 pages are free to download on the CODESRIA site.

The book is important in a number of respects. First, it sets the story of Zimbabwe’s recent land reform in a wider context, examining capitalist relations in historical and regional perspective. Second, it offers an alternative political narrative to the standard analysis focused on neopatrimonial capture by political elites. Third, it offers empirical material and analysis from researchers who have undertaken detailed fieldwork on a range of themes including labour (Chambati), community organisation (Murisa), the media (Chari) and mobilisation (Sadomba, Masuko). Finally, as perhaps the leading scholar on…

View original post 943 more words