Unequal exchange: pricing of communal-land tea outgrowers’ green leaf in the Honde Valley, Zimbabwe
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There are numerous communa] tea out-growers in the Honde valley. These out-growers are situated in various parts of the area namely Zindi, Chikomba, Mandeya and Muparutsa. The Honde Valley is a highly mountainous stretch of land situated some 90 kilometres away from the eastern border town of Mutare, the provincial headquarters of Manicaland Province. Compared to most other rural communities in Zimbabwe, this place is fairly developed in terms of infrastructure such as roads, electricity and telephone networks. This infrastructure was put in place mainly to link the commercial tea estates namely Eastern Highlands Plantation Limited, Katiyo Tea Estate and the former Aberfoyle Tea Estate, now part of Eastern Highlands, under new name of Honde Valley Plantation Ltd, to the city of Mutare. The road was constructed, among other things, in order to transport inputs and produce to and from these estates, while electricity was obviously a pre-requisite if a factory for processing tea was to be operated. The telephone network, as is always the case in areas where business is conducted, was to allow the tea estates to communicate easily with other stakeholders.