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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Large-scale land deals, global capital and the politics of livelihoods: experiences of women small-holder farmers in Chisumbanje, Zimbabwe
Authors:Mutopo, PatienceISNI
Chiweshe, Manase
Periodical:International Journal of African Renaissance Studies (ISSN 1753-7274)
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:land acquisition
foreign investments
small farms
women farmers
Abstract:Large scale land acquisitions by foreign conglomerates in Zimbabwe have been a recurrent phenomenon within the last five years. This has led to land deals being negotiated with state, individual and nongovernmental actors, leading to the production of agro fuels. This article investigates how the large scale commercial land deals have affected the livelihoods of women small holder farmers, the role of global capital in entrenching discrimination of women and how the politics of resource use and distribution has become a central force in shaping livelihoods in Zimbabwe's communal areas. The article is based on field work that was conducted in Ndowoyo communal area, in Chisumbanje village, from July 2011 until April 2012. The methods used for collecting data were in-depth interviews with the women, interviews with officials from the Platform for Youth Development, a nongovernmental organisation, Macdom Pvt Ltd and Ratings Investments, focus group discussions and personal observations that involved interactions with the women. In 2011, Macdom Pvt Ltd and Ratings Investments, both bio fuels companies owned by Billy Rautenbach started green fuel production operations in Chisumbanje and this has led to the altering of the livelihoods systems of women smallholder farmers. The argument seeks, first, to demonstrate how the company's green fuel production systems have led to the loss of land for women and the redefinition of tenure in a communal area. Secondly it explores how the company has been involved in political issues that have undermined the role of development for the women and, thirdly, the article investigates how the women have created livelihood alternatives in an area which has been transformed from a communal rural area into almost an urban area. It concludes by suggesting the need to give primacy to women centred notions of agency in coping with the negative implications of commercial land deals on women's livelihoods. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]