The state, land reform, old farmers and new farmers : an assessment of farming in the Shangani area of Zimbabwe.
After the lapse of the Fast Track Land Reform Program in Zimbabwe, agricultural production slumped and the slump persisted for a decade. An assortment of factors explaining the slump has been brought forward and the new farming strategies of the new farmers were elaborated in passing. This dissertation identified and assessed the farming strategies and practices employed by the new farmers at De Beers Shangani ranch after the Fast Track Land Reform program of 2000. It discussed the land reform process in Shangani and specifically its outcomes mainly on agricultural production. It examined the impact of the socio-political environment in Shangani and explored how the socio-political environment has influenced the choice of strategies hence affecting the farmers‟ production. Guided by the Agricultural Sustainability and Political Ecology conceptual frameworks it assessed how sustainable these strategies were in relation with the soil types, climatic conditions and socio-political milieu in Shangani. In addition, state-farmers relations were explored to ascertain how the relationship has affected agricultural production of the new farmers. In-depth interviews were conducted to a sample population of 20 participants who were purposively selected basing on their knowledge and expertise on farming systems employed by the new farmers at Debshan. Conclusions drawn from this dissertation reveal that some strategies adopted by the well-off farmers have managed to increase production while some strategies adopted by the impoverished and financially struggling farmers have resulted to low production. It concludes that farming strategies employed by the new farmers at Debshan have an impact on the agricultural production of the farmers. The state-farmer relations have also affected agricultural production negatively and led to low utilization of land hence low production.
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