Agricultural development is the key to unlocking Zimbabwe’s recovery

Published on 8 February 2018

Almost three months on from the coup d’état, Professor Ian Scoones – IDS research fellow and co-director of the ESRC STEPS Centre –  sets out the agricultural policies he believes must now be put in place to get Zimbabwe’s agriculture and economy moving again.

In a series of blogs published in The Conversation, land compensation, land administration, finance, partnerships and tenure for farmers are covered, including women’s access to land and highlighted as key areas that the new president Emmerson Mnangagwa will have to urgently address.

Settling land compensation

Nearly 18 years after Zimbabwe’s land reforms, compensation has still not been settled for evicted farmers, many who are now aging and in need of pension support.  Professor Scoones argues that resolving the compensation is essential for reconciliation, but also for reducing uncertainty, encouraging investment and unlocking potential for growth.  Read in full ‘Settling the land compensation issue is vital for Zimbabwe’s economy’.

New land administration

After the land reform in the 2000’s small, medium and large farms are all under different forms of land ownership and it is difficult to know who owns what land. Professor Scoones highlights that getting a new land administration system working, is a huge task and the new system needs to be sustainable and reliable to work long-term. Read in full ‘Zimbabwe urgently needs a new land administration system’.

Top ten agriculture priorities

Over the past 18 years, research at IDS and the STEPS Centre has tracked the progress of land reform farms across Zimbabwe. From those findings Professor Scoones has set out ten priorities for Zimbabwe’s agriculture. Read in full ‘Ten Priorities for getting agriculture moving in Zimbabwe’

Further reading

More information on these issues is available in the new book Land Reform For Zimbabwe: Challenges for Policy by Ian Scoones.

Professor Ian Scoones is available for media interviews and comment on agriculture in Zimbabwe.

Media requests should be directed to [email protected]


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