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Policy Brief 37: Space, Markets and Employment in Agricultural Development: Zimbabwe

by Chrispen Sukume, Blasio Mavedzenge, Felix Murimbarima in 2015

Growth in the agricultural sector has long been assumed to automatically benefit the rural non-farm sector, chiefly through various production or consumption expenditure ‘linkages’ including local expenditure by farmers and their workers (Davis et al., 2002). However, the economic and employment benefits of agriculture crucially depend on the spatial patterns of agricultural production, processing and marketing (and their linkages to local markets). How these work in Zimbabwe is examined in what follows. These policy findings draw on detailed, area-based research that examined agriculture and its linkages in two areas marked by ‘resettlement’ by emerging small- and medium-scale farmers since the Fast-Track Land Reform (FTLR) of the early 2000s (Sukume et al., 2015). Two study sites in Mvurwi and Masvingo Districts were examined, focusing on a range of commodities including tobacco, horticulture and beef.