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APRA blog

Women empowerment, agriculture commercialisation and gender relations in Mvurwi, Zimbabwe
October 19, 2020

In this blog, APRA researcher Hazel M. Kwaramba looks at the different areas in which women in Mvurwi, Zimbabwe seek to construct livelihood – particularly strawberries, poultry and sweet potatoes – to examine pathways towards women empowerment, including policy recommendations. This blog is based on APRA Working Paper 42. Access it, for free, here. Written by Hazel… Read more »

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How is COVID-19 shaping agricultural production and commodity marketing among smallholders in Zimbabwe?
September 17, 2020

In this blog, APRA researcher Vine Mutyasira examines the impact of lockdown measures on smallholder farmers in Mvurwi and Concession, Zimbabwe. He examines how these restrictions have hit agricultural production and commodity marketing, and gives recommendations on how to combat problems, such as the decline in extension services to farmers. Written by Vine Mutyasira Several… Read more »

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Who are the commercial farmers? A history of Mvurwi area, Zimbabwe
July 13, 2020

This blog was written by Ian Scoones and first appeared on Zimbabweland. For some the answer to who are the commercial farmers in Zimbabwe is obvious. The image of the rugged, (male) white farmer in shorts, surveying his family’s land carved out through hard labour and skill from the African bush is etched on the popular imagination. But… Read more »

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Agricultural commercialisation and food security in rural communities: Insights from Zimbabwe
May 7, 2020

Written by Vine Mutyasira The debate over the effects of export-led commercialisation of agriculture on household food security has been ongoing for years. Tobacco has become the most commonly grown export crop in Zimbabwe, with an estimated 145,000 growers producing the “golden leaf” during the 2018/19 farming season (TIMB, 2020). Yet, there are still knowledge… Read more »

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Top Tips from APRA’s Policy friends
January 16, 2020

During APRA’s recent annual meeting in Naivasha from 2-6 December 2019, a panel of distinguished policy voices made up of representatives from Department for International Development (DFID), African Union (AU), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Tegemeo Institute, Agricultural Non-State Actors Forum (ANSAF), and independent consultants shared their perspectives and offered advice on how to guarantee… Read more »

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APRA Annual Workshop 2019 hosted by CABE
December 19, 2019

The Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship (CABE) successfully hosted the APRA Annual Review and Planning Workshop in Naivasha, Kenya from 2-6 December 2019. Members of the three APRA work streams and APRA Consortium, stationed at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), also participated. The theme of this year’s workshop was Impact, Communications and Engagement (ICE).  It… Read more »

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Value Chain Participants in Smallholder Commercialisation in Mvurwi: Emerging Business Relations
September 3, 2019

Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector has experienced radical transformation following a series of land reform programs and an economic meltdown that started in 2000. The implementation of the Fast Track Land Reform Program (FTLRP) led to widespread disruptions in the sophisticated input supply system, altered agrarian relations and generally caused changes in the functioning of input and… Read more »

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Social Dynamics of Agricultural Commercialisation: What are the Community Perceptions?
August 14, 2019

Agricultural commercialisation is seen by smallholder farmers as a potent means of improving their livelihoods and transforming rural communities. However, the commercialisation-induced rural transformation has the potential to alter both social relations and gender-based power dynamics within rural communities. As communities commercialise and realign production practices with the demands of the markets, they increasingly embrace… Read more »

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Youth engagement with commercialisation hotspots in Zimbabwe
May 23, 2019

My interest in youth and agriculture commercialisation stemmed from two pivotal moments in the past decade. One from an ‘accidental finding’ from a 10-year longitudinal study of land beneficiaries of the Fast Track Land Reform (FTLRP) in Sanyati District, Zimbabwe for my doctoral study. Here, young people (children of the first settlers and those from… Read more »

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Ruia Tractor
Animal vs tractor power: emerging mechanisation dynamics in Mvurwi
March 15, 2019

Debate on agricultural mechanisation has largely been framed as policy choices between markets versus state intervention. Within the market conceptualization, adoption of tractors is seen as a derivative of changes in the costs within factors of production such as land, labour and capital. A rise in labour costs and/or shortage leads to the adoption of… Read more »

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Reinvestment of agricultural proceeds shaping mechanisation in Zimbabwe
July 25, 2018

Historically, Zimbabwe’s agricultural mechanisation efforts have been shaped by state-capital relations, in which powerful and connected groups tended to benefit. After the Fast Track Land Reform, technological innovation is now being reconfigured by accumulation from below on the back of expanding medium- and small-scale farming sectors. The APRA survey held in 2017/18 shows that the… Read more »

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Navigating Fast Track: From Bust to Boom in Mvurwi, Zimbabwe
June 28, 2018

Background Commercial farming in the Mvurwi farming area in Zimbabwe – one of the hotspots for white-led commercial agriculture dating back to the 1930s – was expected to go bust after the implementation of Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP) in 2000. The FTLRP resulted in major agrarian transformation in Zimbabwe’s rural landscape, where… Read more »

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Combining capital and labour to help farmers commercialise in Mvurwi, Zimbabwe
June 25, 2018

Written by Toendepi Shonhe Patterns of agricultural commercialisation have changed over time in Zimbabwe – as the APRA Zimbabwe team observed during field studies in 2017, family farming in subdivided farms is on the increase across differentiated settlement models in the Mvurwi farming area, Mazowe District. Mvurwi comprises remaining large-scale commercial farms (LSCF), some medium-scale farms… Read more »

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