Everyone seems to be growing vegetables (and fruit) these days. It is big business and the horticulture sector is generating income, jobs and secondary businesses like never before. The ‘hidden middle’ in this value web is thriving.
In the past, the horticulture sector was divided between the large-scale commercial operations that, through the 1990s, had broken into international markets, selling vegetables and fruits to global markets in short time windows contracted by external buyers. This required high phytosanitary and labour standards, such as through the GlobalGap system. This was lucrative business, but required much skill, lots of investment and very good networks. It was therefore dominated by white, large-scale farmers.
This article is from Zimbabweland, a blog written by IDS research fellow Ian Scoones. Zimbabweland focuses on issues related to rural livelihoods and land reform in Zimbabwe.