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Opinions and comments from Future Agricultures researchers on agricultural politics, science and society in Africa


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Zimbabwe urgently needs a new land administration system
January 16, 2018 / Our blog
Zimbabwe urgently needs a new system of land administration to harness development in the agricultural sector. The country’s land use and ownership have been significantly reconfigured by the fast-track land reform programme undertaken during Robert Mugabe’s rule. Today, following the

Settling the land compensation issue is vital for Zimbabwe’s economy
January 12, 2018 / Our blog
In his inaugural address the new President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, confirmed that land reform was both historically necessary and irreversible. He also made a commitment to compensate farmers who were forced off their land during the fast track land
Zimbabweland’s festive top 20, 2017
December 20, 2017 / Our blog
This has been quite a year for Zimbabwe. No-one would have guessed in January that by the end of the year there would have been a (not) coup, and a new president. The ongoing succession drama appeared to be endless,

Two speeches for ‘new era’ Zimbabwe
December 13, 2017 / Our blog
Over the last few weeks I have been in Zimbabwe, visiting our field research sites in Mvurwi, Matobo and Masvingo. It has been an exciting period, with fast-moving developments. The euphoria of November has given way to the realism of

“The path to prosperity starts with land reform”, says the Economist
November 27, 2017 / Our blog
It’s not often that the Economist magazine sings the praises of radical land reform. But on October 12th, the Banyan column on Asia proclaimed: “the path to prosperity starts with land reform”. The article caught my attention, and I read on.
Youth, smart phones and tractors in Africa – a new agrarian class?
November 15, 2017 / Our blog
Written by, Lidia Cabral and Jim Sumberg   Farming mechanisation is back on the policy and research agenda. Although some old debates – on roles of the state and on appropriate type and scale of technology – remain relevant, there are
Why governance constraints are holding back young people in rural Zimbabwe
November 13, 2017 / Our blog
In the last blog I looked at what young people aged 16-18, studying at three schools in land reform areas in Zimbabwe, imagined they would be doing in 20 years. This blog focuses on their perceptions of constraints to getting there. Many
What next for young people in Zimbabwe’s land reform areas?
November 7, 2017 / Our blog
As discussed in the blog series earlier this year, we have been investigating inter-generational questions in land reform areas. 17 years on, young people born after the land reform are leaving school, and thinking about what next? Will this be farming, or

Confronting authoritarian populism: challenges for agrarian studies
October 24, 2017 / Our blog
Last week I was in Russia at the fascinating fifth BRICS Initiative in Critical Agrarian Studies conference. Throughout the event we heard about the emergence of particular styles of authoritarian populist regimes, including in the BRICS countries, but elsewhere too. Based on

Tractor-powered modernisation for the few
October 16, 2017 / Our blog
Tractors are back in the spotlight as a prime symbol of a modernisation vision for African agriculture. Are they the answer to low productivity and food insecurity? Are they the mark of a rising class of modern farmers, ready to