Patterns Of Land Use Pressure In Communal Areas Of Zimbabwe
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The principal objectives of this paper is to demonstrate that land use pressure and related problems in Zimbabwe’s CAs (Communal Areas) are largely the outcome of adverse consequences of distributional incongruity in space (DIS) between population density and land potential. DIS is defined as a phenomenon in which the distributional density in space of any given factor is negatively correlated with that of population. The most important of such incongruities in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is that based on land potential and it refers to a situation in which rural populations reside in higher densities on lands with marginal to poor endowments and potential while lands with richer endowments and superior potential with much lower population densities are present within the nation. When DIS is analyzed within the context of carrying capacity, population density differentials between lands of differing endowments and potential may be expressed in relative rather absolute levels. In carrying capacity terms, lands may be considered overpopulated even though they may experience population densities lower than other lands with higher potentials (FAO 1978). But in the case of Zimbabwe higher population densities in fact prevail in poorly endowed CAs.