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An appraisal of the impact of the Fast Track Land Reform Programme on land use practices, livelihoods and the natural environment at three study areas in Kadoma District, Zimbabwe

by Chigumira, E.

Abstract (Summary)
This research appraises the impact of the Fast Track Land Reform Programme at three resettled communities in Kadoma District, Zimbabwe. In particular it assesses the livelihood practices of land recipients and their effects on the natural environment. Two of the communities, Lanteglos and CC Molina were resettled under the A1 villagised and self-contained settlement scheme and are found in the Natural Farming Region III. Pamene, the third community, was resettled under the A2 small-scale commercial settlement scheme and is found in the Natural Farming Region IIb. Multiple research methods including household surveys, interviews, observations, reviews of literature and map construction through the use of Geographic Information Systems, allowed for the collection of empirical, descriptive, and spatial data to provide for the appraisal.

The land use practices included dry land crop production, livestock rearing, vegetable gardening and exploitation of the natural environment for a variety of purposes. Farming was mostly subsistence with the use of traditional equipment by all three communities. Tenure was perceived to be insecure by beneficiaries and although a variety of papers to show ownership were held, none provided for leasing or freehold tenure.

Despite acquiring natural capital from the resettlement process, the findings of this research show low levels of financial, physical and social capital amongst beneficiaries. Moreover climatic variability, the declining macro-economic and unstable political environment and little support from government have adversely affected the livelihoods of beneficiaries. The implication of all this has been a reduction in livelihoods that are based solely on agricultural production, leading to off-farm practices primarily exploiting the natural environment. The long term effect would be increased degradation of the environment, leading to reduced arable and grazing land, and thereby hindering sustainable livelihoods from farming. Recommendations are proposed based on this research’s findings being typical in Zimbabwe. Central to this is the need for government to revise its present land policy and, provide for a comprehensive and holistic land policy that should be based on the vision of how agriculture should evolve in Zimbabwe.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Rhodes University

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:geography

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2006

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