Voices from the field: an entrepreneurial farmer from Gutu

For the next few weeks, I am going to highlight our videos, ‘Voices from the Field’. They offer a brief overview of the perspectives of different farmers who have been involved in our on-going research in Masvingo province. They don’t try and offer a full picture of land reform in Zimbabwe, with all the background and history, as hoped for by some, but just a flavour or what people are up to. The case studies in each film are introduced by an overview of the project that lasts for about a minute.

This week, I want to introduce, Mrs Masiiwa who is an entrepreneurial farmer on an A1 villagised site in Gutu district, Lonely farm. She has a mix of crops, including maize, groundnuts, beans, bambarra nuts and also vegetables. Part of her field is on a vlei (wetland). This means she is able to grow some crops under hand irrigation from a well. She sells locally but also transports produce to the informal market in Masvingo, where she sells them to traders. Some traders export produce, selling in South Africa. She makes a tidy profit that she is reinvesting in her farm, but also spending the proceeds on supporting her children and their schooling.  She hopes to fence her field, and buy a pump to expand her irrigation. She has already bought a cell phone from her proceeds, as well as some pigs which she feeds with feed purchased from crop sales.

For the full set, go to: http://www.youtube.com/user/ZimLandReform

This post was written by Ian Scoones and originally appeared on Zimbabweland



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7 responses to “Voices from the field: an entrepreneurial farmer from Gutu

  1. am

    Any chance of a text version as youtube is blocked by network administrator – uses too much bandwidth, says he.

    looks a heart warming matter

    two men went past here on bicycles early this morning with a 50kg bag on each bike. I was informed that they were going to town to sell garlic to a well known supermarket. they had come from the farms nearby.


    • I don’t have a transcript I am afraid, but do connect to the low resolution versions if your internet connection is slow. Click on the link to the whole series on youtube.

  2. William Doctor

    Have you interviewed former farm workers, and commercial famers? That would provide a more full picture of land reform, perhaps.

    • Yes of course. See other blogs. However these short films focused on the ‘new farmers’ on the land reform settlements, as they had not been covered in other films (see blog on documentaries).

      PS: don’t worry I have not deleted your comments, I’ve just been on holiday (see blog of a few weeks ago). Even bloggers need a break.

      • William Doctor

        Well, you are critical of documentaries that have highlighted the plight of former landowners and their workers. You also cite Blessing … , who judging by his articles in the guardian, clearly has sympathies for Mugabe.

  3. am

    it is not about speed of connection. youtube- is a blocked site by the network administrator because it uses so much bandwidth. Just cannot use it. Hence the need of a text version but thanks all the same.

    How are contributions towards the fence made to the lady from Gutu mentioned above. I did not see any way of doing so on the site but I am sure you can facilitate it if it is a thing allowed.

    • Sorry about that. Youtube is a great resource so maybe swich provider! Investments in fencing, school fees etc come drone veg sale profits and the pig project featured in the film.

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