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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The land question, land grabbing and agriculture in Africa
Author:Anyang' Nyong'o, PeterISNI
Periodical:International Journal of African Renaissance Studies (ISSN 1818-6874)
Geographic term:Africa
Subjects:land acquisition
agricultural productivity
land reform
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/18186874.2013.861098
Abstract:Land grabbing has emerged as a form of production and export of food and biofuels in the Third World by enterprises owned by foreign governments and business entities. Large tracts of land are either leased or sold to these enterprises cheaply by the State, usually with the argument that such land is empty and needs to be put to good use. But land grabbing dates back to colonial times, thus substantially shaping the political economy of such countries as South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe. This article discusses land grabbing in its holistic and historical context, noting that smallholding agriculture juxtaposed against large-scale commercial farming will for a long time define agrarian class struggles, the character of the State and the project of nation building. Over the last decade or so land distribution in Zimbabwe by the Mugabe government was assumed to be heading for disaster. Recent information, however, reveals that productivity has improved, tobacco exports are improving and smallholders accessing affordable farm input and markets while getting a fair reward for their labour behave no differently from large-scale commercial farmers. The author argues that the issue of equity and poverty elimination needs to be central in addressing the land and agriculture question in Africa. Bibliogr., note, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]