Tobacco contract farming in Zimbabwe: power dynamics, accumulation trajectories, land use patterns and livelihoods

Mazwi, Freedom / Walter Chambati / George T. Mudimu
External Publications (2020)

in: Journal of Contemporary African Studies 38 (1), 55-71


Zimbabwe's Fast Track Land Reform Programme resulted in a massive growth of the country's tobacco sector. Some authors have labelled this, the ‘tobacco boom’. The effects of this growth are variegated across space and time. This study explores the growth of tobacco contract farming in Goromonzi and Zvimba districts and the resultant effects on land use patterns, accumulation, power dynamics and livelihood outcomes. In illuminating on contract farming, the study also pays attention to non-contract farmers. The rise in the number of contract farmers is attributed to; better extension services, improved and guaranteed access to input and output markets. At the same time, tobacco contract farming is marked by several vicissitudes. Some farmers withdrew from the contracts due to low output prices and high input costs resulting in indebtedness. Similarly, some contracting firms dropped out from the contracting arrangements. Overall, many contracted growers accumulated more than non-contract farmers.

About the author

Mudimu, George Tonderai

Agricultural policy economics

Further experts

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