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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Rethinking the Reserves: Southern Rhodesia's Land Husbandry Act Reviewed
Author:Phimister, Ian R.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Great Britain
agricultural policy
communal lands
animal husbandry
Ethnic and Race Relations
Politics and Government
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Law, Human Rights and Violence
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/2637344
Abstract:The 'long' 1950s mark a key period in the history of colonial Zimbabwe. They were a time of dramatic economic, social and political change, not least in the countryside where the State embarked on a hugely ambitious programme to recast the prevailing patterns of African agricultural practice. The rural linchpin on which everything turned was the Land Husbandry Act of 1951, whose objectives were, amongst others, to limit the number of stock in any area to its carrying capacity, and to allocate individual rights in arable areas and in communal grazing areas in terms of economic units. This paper argues that the actual impact of the Act may have been overestimated, at the same time as the extent of differentiation among the peasantry was underestimated. New archival evidence suggests that the impact of the Act was rather less severe than previous writers have claimed. In nearly 60 percent of the reserves, cultivators were left in possession of their existing land holdings. And even where the provisions of the Act were carried out, staff shortages often made them well-nigh impossible to enforce. Notes, ref., sum.