Horticultural crop production and marketing among smallholders in Zimbabwe
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Horticultural crop production was traditionally under women’s domain. As families migrated to the urban areas, many women utilized their indigenous knowledge of these crops in establishing and maintaining marketing enterprises in the informal economy. This paper analyzes traditional aspects of horticultural crop production within the communal area farming system, utilizing gender and the rural division of labour as key elements in this system. The paper then discusses how women’s expertise in horticultural crops was transformed to fit the urban marketing setting of Harare. The analysis then proceeds to characterize the incomes derived from this economic activity with policy suggestions as to how female urban fruit and vegetable vendors might maintain their marketing niche, especially in light of the imposition of ESAP (Economic Structural Adjustment Policies). The paper is based on research conducted 1985-87, 1993 and 1994.