Who was allocated Fast Track land, and what did they do with it? Selection of A2 farmers in Goromonzi District, Zimbabwe and its impacts on agricultural production
Journal of Peasant Studies
University of theWestern Cape, School of Government, Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, South Africa
Questions of who was allocated land under Zimbabwe's Fast Track land reform programme and how productive the beneficiaries have been are highly controversial. This article presents detailed empirical data on beneficiaries who were small and medium-sized commercial farms (the A2 model) in Goromonzi district, land allocation processes, and land use. Goromonzi District is one of the four districts that share a boundary with Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. A questionnaire survey targeting 65 A2 beneficiaries was implemented in 2003, while key informant interviews were done in 2006. Drawing on both primary and official data, the article shows that official criteria for selecting beneficiaries for A2 farms that emphasized the potential to use the land productively were ignored in practice. The institutions responsible for land allocation were captured by members of the ruling party and by representatives of the state security apparatus, and most beneficiaries were drawn from the governing or the local elite. Many lacked sufficient capital to invest meaningfully in commercial agriculture, did not have relevant farming experience, and were unable to put the bulk of their land into production for several years. As a result, in Goromonzi District the impact of Fast Track land reform on commercial agriculture has been negative. © 2011 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
agricultural production; farming system; land reform; land use; small and medium-sized enterprise; smallholder; Zimbabwe