Prof Sam Moyo

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Biography

Prof Sam Moyo is Executive Director of the African Institute for Agrarian Studies (AIAS), Harare, and former President of the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA, 2009–11). He was a research professor at the Zimbabwe Institute of Development Studies, and taught at the University of Zimbabwe, and has served on the boards of various research institutes and non-governmental organisations. He is currently Editor of Agrarian South: Journal of Political Economy (Sage India).

He has published widely in academic journals and is the author and editor of several books, including: The Land Question in Zimbabwe, Land Reform Under Structural Adjustment in Zimbabwe, Reclaiming the Land, African Land Questions, Agrarian Transitions and the State, Land and Sustainable Development in Africa, Reclaiming the Nation, and The Agrarian Question in the Neoliberal Era.

 

Abstract for plenary paper

Redistributive land reform in former settler colonial Zimbabwe

Redistributive land reform and agrarian reforms since 2000 changed progressively Zimbabwe’s basic agrarian relations, particularly by broadening the producer and consumption base. The distribution of land has been relatively uneven, with some receiving larger land allocations than others. It however retained significant enclaves of large-scale agro-industrial estates producing exports (sugar, tea, timber, citrus and wildlife) owned by transnational, domestic and state capital, despite unfulfilled popular and domestic elite demands for land. These fuelled new inequities in access to farm inputs output markets and finance, and exploitative agrarian labour practises continue despite the diversification of labour towards numerous farms and other enterprises. Large foreign agricultural investment in Zimbabwe is however atypical of the current neoliberal land grabbing in Africa, since it reversed past inequalities.

Agricultural output declined primarily due to reduced inputs and credit supplies, and frequent droughts, but has been rising since 2006. Increasing export production now involves more producers, driven by the diversification of agrarian merchants and contract farming. Agro-industrial capital has gradually increased its domestic operations in the inputs and export commodity markets, especially after re-liberalisation in 2008. Agrarian politics now entail new struggles over agrarian markets, land and labour rights, reflecting the unresolved contradictions of autonomous development in the context of sanctions, domestic political polarisation and re-integration into broader world markets.

 

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