The state, farmers and dairy farming in colonial Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia), c.1890-1951

Hove, Godfrey (2015-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis uses dairy farming in colonial Zimbabwe/Southern Rhodesia as a lens to explore the intersection of economic, social and environmental factors in colonial agriculture from the 1890s until 1951, when a new regulatory framework was introduced for the industry. It examines the complex and fluid interactions between the colonial state and farmers (both white and black), and the manner in which these interactions shaped and reshaped policy within the context of the local political economy and the changing global economic conditions. It examines the competing interests of the colonial state and farmers, and how these tensions played out in the formulation and implementation of dairy development policy over time. This thesis demonstrates that these contestations profoundly affected the trajectory of an industry that started as a mere side-line to the beef industry until it had become a central industry in Southern Rhodesia’s agricultural economy by the late 1940s. Thus, besides filling a historiographical gap in existing studies of Southern Rhodesia’s agricultural economy, the thesis engages in broader historiographical conversations about settler colonial agricultural policy and the role of the state and farmers in commercial agriculture. Given the fractured nature of colonial administration in Southern Rhodesia, this study also discusses conflicts among government officials. It demonstrates how these differences affected policy formulation and implementation, especially regarding African commercial dairy production. This thesis also explores the impact of a segregationist agricultural policy, particularly focusing on prejudices about the “African body” and hygiene. It shows how this shaped the character of both African and white production trends. It demonstrates that Africans were unevenly affected by settler policy, as some indigenous people continued to compete with white farmers at a time when existing regulations were intended to exclude them from the colonial dairy industry. It argues that although dairy farming had grown to be a strong white-dominated industry by 1951, the history of dairy farming during the period under review was characterised by contestations between the state and both white and African farmers.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis gebruik suiwelboerdery in koloniale Zimbabwe/Suid-Rhodesie as ’n lens om die ekonomiese, sosiale en omgewingsgerigte kruispunte in koloniale landbou van omstreeks 1890 t 1951 toe ‘n nuwe regulatoriese raamwerk vir suiwelboerdery ingestel is te, ondersoek. Die komplekse en vloeibare interaksies tussen die koloniale staat en boere (wit sowel as swart) en die wyse waarop hierdie interaksies beleid binne die konteks van die plaaslike politieke ekonomie en die globale ekonomiese omstandighede gevorm en hervorm het, word ondersoek. Hierbenewens word gelet op die spanninge tussen die belange van die koloniale staat en die boere (wit sowel as swart) en hoe hierdie spanning oor tyd in die formulering en implementering van suiwelbeleid gemanifested het. Hierdie tesis demonstreer dat di spanninge en stryd ’n diepgaande uitwerking gehad het op ’n bedryf wat aanvanklik as ondergeskik tot die vleisbedryf begin het, naar teen die leat as ‘n sentrale veertigerjere bedryf in die Rhodesiëse landelike ekonomie uitgekristalliseer het. Benewens die feit dat die proefakrif ’n historiografiese leemte in bestaande koloniale Zimbabwe aangespreek, vorm dit ook deel van ’n breër historiografiese diskoers ten opsigte van setlaar koloniale landbou in Zimbabwe en die rol van die staat en boere in kommersiële landbou. Vanweё die gefragmenteerde aard van koloniale administrasie in Suid-Rhodesië, fokus die tesis ook op die konflikte tussen regeringsamptenare en hoe hierdie geskille veral beleidsformulering en implementering ten opsigte van swart kommersiële suiwelboerdery beïnvloed het. Vervolgens word die uitwerking van ’n landboubeleid geliasear of segragasi onder die loep geneem met spesiale verwysing na die geskiktheid van swartmense vir kommersiële suiwelboerdery en hoe dit die aard en karakter van beide swart sowel as wit produksie tendense beïnvloed het. Daar word aangedui dat swartmense nie eenvormig deur setlaarsbeleid geraak is nie aangesien van hulle met wit boere meegeding het op ’n stadium toe die heersende regulasies daerop gemik was oin baie van hulle uit die koloniale suiwelbedryfwit te slint. Die sentrale argument is dat hoewel suiwelboerdery sterk wit gedomineerd was teen 1951, die geskiedenis van die bedryf gedurende die tydperk onder bespreking gekenmerk is deur stryd en konflite tussen die staat en wit sowel as swart boere.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97113
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