Who will make the 'best' use of Africa's land? Lessons from Zimbabwe

Manjengwa, Jeanette; Hanlon, Joseph and Smart, Teresa (2014). Who will make the 'best' use of Africa's land? Lessons from Zimbabwe. Third World Quarterly, 35(6) pp. 980–995.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2014.907722


Conflict over African land – between small holders and large industrial farmers and between domestic farmers and global agribusinesses – raises key questions about who will make the best use of African land and which farmers do most to decrease poverty and produce more food, industrial inputs, and exports. Zimbabwe has already gone through two major changes in land occupation, and thus provides an important test of what is the 'best' use of the land. Three measures of 'best' use have been cited in Zimbabwe: reward for military victory, poverty reduction, and agricultural production. Initial evidence indicates that commercial small holder production is a better use of the land than larger, more mechanised farming.

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