Impact of land redistribution on large scale commercial agriculture
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Before the land reform program, agriculture played a pivotal role in the economy of Zimbabwe, contributing 20 percent of the GDP. In addition, the sector also ensured food self sufficiency and food-security at all times through production of staple food crops such as maize, wheat, sorghum, millets, oilseeds, livestock and fruit and vegetables. Considerable progress had been made in the production of commodities in which Zimbabwe has some comparative advantage and earn foreign exchange, e.g., sugar, cotton, citrus, horticulture, beef, tobacco, paprika, soybeans, and groundnuts. The land reform program implemented in Zimbabwe since 2000, has raised questions on the ability of the country to restore agricultural production to the levels achieved before the program. The implementation of the program has seen a phenomenal structural change in the country’s agricultural sector. The greatest transformation has occurred in the large scale commercial (LSC) farming sector. About 4,500 commercial farmers existed before the fast track reform programme, occupying 11 million hectares of land, which represented 30 percent of the country’s land area.