Contract farming as a tool for the development of smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe

Duma, Moses (2007-03)

Thesis (MBA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Zimbabwe’s land-reform process has been widely debated and severely criticised, yet seldom been analysed at greater depth. In the transition from startup small-holding farmer to the long-run goal of commercial farmer, Zimbabweans currently experience a phase of increasing “contract farming”. New farmers are producing for contractors who buy up their produce at predetermined prices. Ideally, these contractors or agribusinesses also help the smallholders to get the seeds and fertiliser, obtain the necessary equipment, help with the production technology and assist in other ways. On the basis of interviews with 25 farmers and 12 agribusinesses in different regions of the country, the study tries to asses the merits, risks and preconditions for success of contract farming. The responses from both sides of this contract farming system suggest that overall success will largely depend on the effective co-operation between the two sides and the facilitation of the process by relevant government departments and/or supportive NGOs. Ideally, the lessons to be learned from these transitional reform processes are directly relevant for land reform and agricultural development efforts in other African countries.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Zimbabwe se grondhervormingsstelsel is in die jongste tyd wyd bespreek en skerp gekritiseer, maar dit is selde in groter diepte ontleed. In die oorgang van beginners-kleinskaal-boerdery tot die lang-termyn oogmerk van kommersiele boerdery word die land tans gekenmerk deur ‘n vinnig toenemende proses van “kontrak-boerdery”. Nuwe boere produseer vir kontrakteurs wat hul produksie teen voorafonderhandelde pryse opkoop. Op hul beste voorsien dié kontrakteurs ook die saadgoed en kunsmis, verskaf die nodige toerusting, help met die produksie-tegnologie en voorsien ander take. Op die grondslag van diepte-onderhoude met 25 kleinboere en 12 landboubesighede in verskillende dele van die land, probeer die studie die meriete, risikos en suksesvoorwaardes van hierdie stelsel van kontrakboerdery te bepaal. Terugvoering van die twee kante van dié stelsel toon dat sukses grootliks afhang van die effektiewe samewerking en interaksie van die twee partye tot die stelsel asook ondersteuning deur die betrokke staatsdepartemente en ander ondersteunende organisasies. Lesse geleer uit hierdie studie van Zimbabwe se hervormingsproses behoort direk relevant te wees vir soortgelyke hervormingsprosesse in ander Afrikastate.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/14909
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