|Title||Beyond land transfers: the dynamics of socially driven markets emerging from Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform Programme|
|Author(s)||Matondi, Prosper; Chikulo, Sheila|
|Source||In: Rural Development and the Construction of New Markets / Hebinck, P., Schneider, S., van der Ploeg, J.D., Taylor and Francis - ISBN 9780415746342 - p. 149 - 167.|
|Department(s)||Sociology of Development and Change|
|Publication type||Peer reviewed book chapter|
|Abstract||The central argument of this chapter is that newly emerging markets in Zimbabwe have been boosted by land reform. Since independence in 1980, the country has implemented a programme to redistribute land more equally and to restructure the agrarian sector. Land reform has then gone through different phases. This chapter explores the developments initiated by the recent Fast Track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP), which was set in motion not just by the state and experts. A range of other actors, e.g. landless people, people from communal areas and war veterans, seized the opportunity to access land. For them, the FTLRP represented a new set of opportunities. The most visible outcome of the FTLRP is the radical redistribution of land and the consequent reform, and in some cases complete disappearance, of some large-scale and commercial farms in the country. Many observers have commented in detail about the post-FTLRP in Zimbabwe (Scoones et al. 2010, Matondi 2012, Hanlon et al. 2013). This chapter adds to these analyses an examination of a hitherto hardly described phenomenon: the newly emerging markets in the southern part of Zimbabwe, the Lowveld, which is being repeated with similarities elsewhere in the country. A plethora of markets have mushroomed in the Lowveld to support the endeavours of numerous social actors to build, rebuild and enhance their livelihoods. These markets were not planned and can at best be understood as the unintended consequences of the fast track land reform programme. The construction of these new markets is significant in two ways. First of all, the markets that have emerged in the Lowveld in the wake of the FTLRP are new markets. These markets did not exist before as the previous landowners were embedded in markets designed and controlled by agribusiness companies and political interest groups. Second, the new markets are designed and constructed by new groups of actors (e.g. women from the neighbouring communal areas and landless people) who did not inhabit the area before as landowners. The analysis of the newly emerging markets shows the robustness of their experiences in constructing markets that fit their interests and how they are enhancing their livelihoods. We argue that these markets are structurally different from previously existing markets; the previous market structure of the
Lowveld that was predominantly attuned to the interests of a large-scale farming sector has largely disappeared. The new markets do not operate in a vacuum but incorporate experiences from the previously existing markets although reconstructed and following different livelihood calculi. This chapter is structured as follows. We first describe the situation and construction of markets before land reform reordered the agrarian landscape in the Lowveld. Then we will shortly describe the dynamics of FTLRP and how and when it came about. The last part of the chapter provides an account of the plethora of emerging markets, characterizing them as an outcome of the social struggles of a range of actors in the Lowveld to make a decent living for themselves and their families.