Re-peasantization under Fast Track Land Reform: Implications for Livelihood and Landscape Change, Sanyati District, Zimbabwe
MetadataShow full item record
Zimbabwe's Fast Track land and agrarian reform that began in the year 2000 has ignited debate about the most suitable farming model for food security and rural development in Zimbabwe and other post-colonial countries. As an evidence-based contribution to the analysis of re-peasantization, I present findings from a decade-long study of three communities resettled under the A1 and A2 variants of the Fast Track Land Reform Program (FTLRP) in the Sanyati District, Zimbabwe. To appraise the unfolding nature of the FTLRP, I used the framework of political ecology to examine the day-to-day practices and livelihood strategies of land recipients, their relationship with the physical environment and underlying reasons for particular land-use activities. Drawing from a series of surveys, observations, narratives, key informant interviews, content analysis of photographs, maps, and secondary documents, my findings show differential patterns of investment, asset accumulation, and crop and livestock production among households. Land recipients used multiple livelihood pathways to augment their income and farming activities. New and diverse sources of rural income and commodity markets have emerged, including high levels of small-scale artisanal gold mining and the reallocation of land for gold processing mills. These findings provide insight into the conditions and/or tendencies of re-peasantization under the FTLRP and challenge modernist assumptions of agrarian development, which value large-scale over small- scale farming.