1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development

Understanding Social and Solidarity Economy in Emergent Communities: Lessons from Post–Fast Track Land Reform Farms in Mazowe, Zimbabwe (Draft)



This paper looks at the evolving forms of social organization that emerged on farms after the Fast Track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP) in Zimbabwe. It highlights how these institutional formations demonstrate the emergence of a social and solidarity economy in which self-help and grassroots organizations surface as a viable alternative to state or capitalist interventions. In 2000 Zimbabwe experienced a major shift in its rural landscape when land occupations and the government-initiated land reform saw the emergence of new communities of black farmers on formerly white-owned farms. The government of Zimbabwe had neither the funds nor the capacity to provide social amenities when the FTLRP started. The paper shows how small-scale farmer communities ensured service provision through their own initiatives. It is through informal institutions built up through interaction and negotiation, and built on trust, reciprocity and unity of purpose, that these communities have sustained their existence. These farm-level institutions are part of an emerging social and solidarity economy.

Manase Kudzai Chiweshe is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Rhodes University. His research currently focuses on gender theory in Africa, and how it relates to urban and agrarian spaces.
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  • ISSN: 2312-2226