News, Analysis and research on Land Reform and Agrarian Change around the world
Urge government to review other SDOs and distribute other landholdings under CARPER
Zimbabwe’s land reform since 2000 has been intensely controversial. Overturning the settler colonial pattern of land use and creating a new agrarian structure has had far-reaching consequences.
Yet the debate about what happened, where and to who has too often been shallow and ill-informed, and not based on solid empirical evidence from the field.
This website presents material linked to an on-going research project in Masvingo province in the south-east of the country. This has involved a detailed study of what happened to people’s livelihoods after land reform, across 16 land reform sites and 400 households.
When Cuba faced the shock of lost trade relations with the Soviet Bloc in the early 1990s, food production initially collapsed due to the loss of imported fertilizers, pesticides, tractors, parts, and petroleum. The situation was so bad that Cuba posted the worst growth in per capita food production in all of Latin America and the Caribbean. But the island rapidly re-oriented its agriculture to depend less on imported synthetic chemical inputs, and became a world-class case of ecological agriculture.1 This was such a successful turnaround that Cuba rebounded to show the best food production performance in Latin America and the Caribbean over the following period, a remark- able annual growth rate of 4.2 percent per capita from 1996 through 2005, a period in which the regional average was 0 percent.
On World Food Day, it is estimated that almost a billion people around the world are now suffering from hunger and malnutrition - a dramatic rise in number since the soaring food prices over the last three years. Of these, about half are estimated to live in smallholder farming households, while roughly two-tenths are landless, another tenth are pastoralists, fisherfolk, and forest users, and the remainder live in the cities. This crisis of world hunger is set to deepen as livelihood resources such as land and water continue to be transferred from such groups to the financially powerful in ever larger areas and longer timeframes.
The writer is a researcher and lecturer at Airlangga University’s Faculty of Law, Surabaya. His book, Legal Pluralism in Industrialized Indonesia: A Case Study of Land Conflict Between Adat People, the Government, and Corporations regarding Industrialization in Middle Java, was published in Germany by VDM Verlag Dr. Müller.
Guest Editors: Lionel Cliffe, University of Leeds; Jocelyn Alexander, University of Oxford; Ben Cousins, PLAAS, University of the Western Cape, and Rudo Gaidzanwe, University of Zimbabwe
In this publication, data and recent analyses will be presented on the expansion of sugar cane monoculture for ethanol production in Brazil, and in particular on the monopolisation in the sector due to mergers and the takeover of production plants by foreign companies.