Zimbabweland in 2016 – time to catch up

I am going to be on holiday for a few weeks, so now is the time to catch up on all those posts you missed. Normal service will resume in September. Below are the top 20 posts so far this year by number of views. Click on ‘view’ and enjoy reading!

Putting this list together I was having a look at some of the search terms and comments too. There are quite a diverse bunch of readers, with many interests. Some of the most popular blogs (from last year, but still being read in numbers) are the ones in the series on ‘Zimbabwe’s new agricultural entrepreneurs’. There were three – on poultry, pigs and irrigators and all are viewed regularly (links are at the end of this blog).

Interests in agricultural production are reflected in the search terms used to find the blog, with pig farming/rearing/piggeries (and variants) being by far the most frequent, with poultry/chickens and cattle not far behind – with queries on everything from feeding regimes to marketing options to prices. Who says there are not plenty of rural entrepreneurs out there, with access to the Internet, eager to find out who is doing what and to get advice (although I am not sure many of my blogs are that useful for pig farming to be frank)?

There are also many types of comments on the blog. Along with the usual viewpoints,  agricultural entrepreneurs make use of the blog to get in touch with others. Here was one from a few weeks’ back: “I am interested in doing business with Zimbabwe meat suppliers, I need to collect especially the bones from Zimbabwe to South Africa, is there anyone interested if yes please send me an email urgently”. Forget Sharaka, who is studying in Costa Rica, even got in touch with Tinashe who posted a query on pig production, advising: “we are doing an agro-business course and our project is of raising pigs for a year. I would advise you to make a business research….simply to avoid loses and make profits instead”. Good advice!

Other comments that I liked included the engagement with the recent blogs on Zimbabwe’s riots and new forms of activism. This included Gregory D commenting that in rural areas, there are other forms of popular culture that engage youth beyond social media, including a new craze for Zim dance hall: “rural youths are not really miles behind their urban counterparts. I can give an example of the Zimdancehall music phenomenon, which in its early days seemed just an urban craze but literally took over the whole country with even rural youths ditching Sungura music which they were accustomed to and associated with to be in line with their urban folk. In the same way, such citizen activism can include rural youths if concerted efforts are made to include their voices and aspirations as well”. Other comments have usefully provided additional information, and new links, including Debbie Potts’ very helpful bibliography on informal urban dynamics in Zimbabwe.

The series on ‘small towns’, featuring Mvurwi and Chatsworth, drew lots of interest, including from Gerry Wood in Cape Town. He commented: “Well this article on Chatsworth is heart warming. As a young man of 17 years I worked at the station as the administration clerk mainly selling tickets and managing all the paperwork on the goods being transported. I shared a Railway house with a much older man. There was no electricity and only a “long drop” for a toilet. I think the Station Master had better home conditions.
Well done to the people of Chatsworth and surrounds on its great progress.”

So please do keep posting comments, and engaging with the diverse Zimbabweland community. Since January there have been 35,500 views and you’ve come from over 130 countries, with Zimbabwe, the UK, the European Union (counted separately apparently from the UK – is this a consequence of Brexit?!), the US, and South Africa being the top sources.

Anyway, here are the most visited blogs so far this year. More in September on themes ranging from local level land governance to regional food security to land politics and more. With Zimbabwe’s fast-changing politics, there is always much to comment on! Happy reading.

  1. View What will Brexit mean for Africa?
  2. View Drought politics in southern Africa
  3. View Small towns in Zimbabwe are booming thanks to land reform
  4. View Are China and Brazil transforming African agriculture?
  5. View Why tractors are political in Africa
  6. View Research collaboration for global challenges: why it’s really hard
  7. View Chinese engagement in African agriculture is not what it seems
  8. View Why is IDS a special institution?
  9. View Riots in Zimbabwe: don’t mess with the informal sector
  10. View How the Sustainable Development Goals can open up political space for transformative development
  11. View #Hashtag activism: will it make a difference in Zimbabwe?
  12. View Small towns and economic development: lessons from Zimbabwe
  13. View Does land reform increase resilience to drought?
  14. View The changing face of global agricultural research
  15. View Why 50-60 million hectares should be transferred to smallholders in South Africa’s land reform
  16. View Mvurwi: from farm worker settlement to booming business centre
  17. View The El Niño drought hits livestock hard in Zimbabwe
  18. View China: Zimbabwe’s ‘all-weather friend’
  19. View Chatsworth: from railway siding to growing small town
  20. View Seeds for Africa’s green revolution: can India help?

Zimbabwe’s agricultural entrepreneurs

    • View Zimbabwe’s new agricultural entrepreneurs II: Poultry
    • View Zimbabwe’s new agricultural entrepreneurs I: pig production
    • View Zimbabwe’s new agricultural entrepreneurs III: irrigators

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