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Political Economy of Cereal Seed Systems in Africa Project

This project is exploring the political economy of cereal seed systems across five distinct country contexts (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Ghana and Zimbabwe). Each country has a very different history of research and development in this area; in each setting the importance of the public or the private sector differs, with different actors and interests involved; each country has a different reliance on ‘modern’ hybrid (or sometimes biotech) varieties and associated R&D and supply systems; and each country has a different form and extent of independent informal sector, involving networks of farmer experimenters and seed bulkers and suppliers.

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Displacement and changing labour in Zimbabwe's farms

Zimbabwe's recent land reform had a major impact on farm labour, with much displacement of workers from large-scale commercial farms. However, the scale and implications of this are much disputed and poorly understood. A new paper by Walter Chambati examines the issue with detailed research from Goromonzi district.

Agrarian Labour Relations in Zimbabwe after Over a Decade of Land and Agrarian Reform (pdf) Blog: Ian Scoones: The new farm workers: Changing agrarian labour dynamics following land reform in Zimbabwe

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Land in Zimbabwe: Voices from the Field

26 September 2011 - Ian Scoones

Zimbabwe's political crisis continues with political parties' internal divides exposed by Wikileaks revelations, the coalition government at loggerheads on fundamental issues and the prospect of a violent election period in the coming year. Yet with the stabilisation of the currency and the overhaul of some key economic policies, the agricultural economy in particular has begun to recover. IDS research has been tracking what has been happening in one province since 2000, looking at the changing livelihood prospects of those who gained land in Zimbabwe’s controversial 'fast track' land reform programme.

Today a series of short films are released which provide insights into what is happening on the ground, by offering some voices from the field. Following an overview film, each of the films in the series provides a profile of a particular farm family, exploring how they have invested in the land and their visions for the future. The films are accompanied by two booklets which offer a summary of the wider research findings published in the book Zimbabwe's Land Reform: Myths and Realities.

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