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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Setting the Agenda: A Critique of the World Bank's Rural Restructuring Programme for South Africa
Author:Williams, Gavin
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:land reform
World Bank
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
international relations
Abstract:This article offers a critique of the presuppositions of the recommendations put forward in the World Bank's 'Options for land reform and rural restructuring in South Africa' (1993). It examines the documents which informed the proposals; the adequacy of their accounts of the experiences, notably of land reforms in Kenya, on which they draw; the strength of their evidence and arguments, particularly regarding agricultural performance and policies; and the feasibility and purposes of their proposals for land redistribution. It argues that the World Bank's proposals rest on misleading intellectual foundations. They seek to square a number of circles: redistributing land and maintaining agricultural production; providing for the poor while settling people with resources to take up land and cultivate it commercially; setting up a national programme yet implementing it at the local level. These dilemmas are not resolved. Matters of land and agricultural production are always particular and never general. Effective agricultural policies need to start from the very different circumstances obtaining within as well as among the different provinces and agro-ecological regions of the country. Notes, ref., sum.