Today, the BBC broadcast a programme in their Crossing Continents series on Radio 4. The team interview Blasio Mavedzenge, Masvingo field team leader, and a number of farmers in the research sample.
Listen to the podcast here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/cc
See a BBC web story here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15919538
And an IDS story and podcast here: http://www.ids.ac.uk/news/ids-big-question-for-development-zimbabwe-s-land-reform
Compared to much past BBC coverage of Zimbabwe’s land reform, this is impressively balanced. There have been successes and failures. There has been violence and there are continued take-overs of farms by elites. Yet there is also a lot going on.
Of course the statistics are much in dispute (on lost production and farm worker job losses in particular – see earlier blogs), and some of these are repeated in the programme. And the CFU can only see the future in terms of one type of farming, deeming everything else ‘subsistence’, still unable to see a different future where small-scale farming is a key part of the country’s agricultural future.
Yet as the programme shows, Mr Nago, Ms Musiiwa and Mr Rwafa are far from ‘subsistence’ farmers. At least with this sort of coverage, the new farmers are at last having a voice, and a more balanced, if contested, picture is emerging.
More commentary on this in the coming days. Do come back to the blog!