The growth of smallholder tobacco production since 2000 has been one of the big stories of Zimbabwe’s post–land reform experience. Yet the implications for agrarian change, and the consequences for new relations between farmers, the state, and agribusiness capital have rarely been discussed. The paper reports on work carried out in the Mvurwi area of Mazowe district in Zimbabwe with a sample of 220 A1 (smallholder) farmers and 100 former farmworkers resident in compounds on the same farms. By going beyond a focus on operational and business dimensions of contract farming, the paper concludes with reflections on the implications for understanding agrarian relations and social differentiation in those areas of Zimbabwe where tobacco growing is now significant, with lessons more broadly on the political economy of contract farming, and the integration of agribusiness capital following land reform.
This is an output from the ‘Space, Markets and Employment in Agricultural Development: Case Studies from Southern Africa’ Project
Scoones I, Mavedzenge B, Murimbarimba F, Sukume C. Tobacco, contract farming, and agrarian change in Zimbabwe. Journal of Agrarian Change. 2018;18:22–42
Tobacco, contract farming, and agrarian change in Zimbabwe