Friday, November 8, 2013

Rethinking Zimbabwe’s Forced Land Redistribution

The Guardian tries to think through the aftermath of Mugabe's violent land redistribution policies:

While many maintain that Mugabe loyalists remain the main beneficiaries of the bloody land reform (the Mugabe family is now said to own more than 30 farms), some have suggested that it was not all bad. For example, though it says the methods used were inexcusable, a book entitled Zimbabwe Takes Back its Land by Professor Ian Scoones of Sussex University concluded: “In the biggest land reform in Africa, 6,000 white farmers have been replaced by 245,000 Zimbabwean farmers. These are primarily ordinary poor people who have become more productive farmers.”

During the turbulence of the farm takeovers, tobacco production plunged to 48.3 million kilograms in 2008 from a record 236.7 million kilograms in 2000, according to the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association. Now it’s making a comeback, with this year’s 166.7 million kilograms earning about $612m.

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