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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Zimbabwe's Agricultural Recovery Programme in the 1990s: An Evaluation Using Household Survey Data
Author:Munro, Lauchlan T.
Periodical:Food Policy
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:agricultural policy
small farms
Drought and Desertification
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Politics and Government
History and Exploration
External link:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0306-9192(03)00050-2
Abstract:During the 1990s, the government of Zimbabwe implemented an Agricultural Recovery Programme to help smallholder farmers recover from repeated severe droughts. The programme aimed to provide drought-affected smallholders with crop packs (free seeds and fertilizer) and mechanized tillage services. This article evaluates the coverage, poverty sensitivity and impact of the programme using an in-depth analysis of household survey data from 1993, 1996 and 1997. The programme's tillage component was unsuccessful, repeatedly reaching less than 5 percent of its target group; the crop pack component, however, reached four-fifths or more of its target group. Most of the poorer households received crop packs, but richer households were slightly more likely to get them. Those who did receive crop packs planted larger areas under staple crops, regardless of their poverty status. These findings are generally robust for a range of poverty proxies. Unfortunately, there is no clear evidence on the impact, if any, of crop packs on grain yields. Crop packs - properly attuned to local agroecological conditions - may serve a useful role in post-drought recovery. Steps must be taken, however, to ensure that all the poor receive crop packs. Attempts by government to provide mechanized tillage to hundreds of thousands of smallholder households are not recommended. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]