Zimbabwe’s evolving farming systems: contract-farming and alternatives
Thesis (MDF)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.
ENGLISH SUMMARY : The focus of this paper is the analysis of the evolving farming systems in the Zimbabwean farming sub-sector, following the fast-track land reform with its attendant challenges such as paucity of agricultural inputs, credit, markets, agronomic/extension services, etc. Perusal of literature has shown a glaring dearth of data in sub-Saharan Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular to buttress the often advanced notion that contract farming and the other evolving farming systems are beneficial to the farming communities. Some 25 farmers were surveyed using the stratified random sampling method and in-depth interviews. Some appropriate case studies were also analysed. Results have shown that one farming system (such as contract farming) cannot address the multiplicity of challenges facing the smallholder-farming sector in Zimbabwe. Evolving systems such as joint ventures, sharecropping and land leases are seen to complement the contract-farming system, leading to a boost in farming aptitude, productivity, profitability, employment and overall farm development as well as capitalisation. In this regard, the government is encouraged to come up with a flexible framework that gives direction to the nurturing of the evolving farming systems, with a view to ensuring that smallholder farmers are not prejudiced or exploited by opportunistic partners.
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