Throughout the world, governments have pursued different
forms of agrarian or land reform. For example, Article 184 of the Brazilian
Constitution of 1988, mandated the government to “expropriate for the
purpose of agrarian reform, rural property that is not performing its social
function”, whilst in 1972, the government of Sri Lanka instituted land
reform by imposing a ceiling of twenty hectares on privately owned land and
distributed lands in excess of the ceiling for the benefit of landless
peasants. Land has always been an emotive issue in Zimbabwe. To the indigenous Africans,
land is a source of personhood, being and identity. Prior to independence in
1980, debates on the need for land redistribution in Zimbabwe focused on
whether intended beneficiaries would put the resource to economic and
productive use to ensure the food security of the nation and possibly realize a
surplus for export. Land redistribution needs to also focus on different forms
of support, designed to attain the objective of food security and livelihoods
of the newly settled farmers. This Policy Report of Zimbabwe’s Fast
Track Land Reform Program begins by giving an overview of the history of
Zimbabwe’s land distribution from pre-independence (1890-1980). Upon attainment
of independence, the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) embarked on various land
reform and redistribution programs, aimed at altering the prevailing structure
of the agricultural sector in favor of small-holder farmers (Sithole, 1996). Lastly,
the report will look at the Fast Track Land Reform Program (FTLRP), from 2000
to date. The historical evolution of Zimbabwe’s land reform needs to be contextualized,
in order to understand the importance of land and agricultural development, as
the engine of Zimbabwe’s economic growth. The Policy Report also identifies the
policy problem and elucidates on the costs associated with it, by detailing the
negative impact the program in relation to agricultural productivity, food
security and the economy. The paper also contains justifications and critiques of
recommended policy responses. One of the fundamental aims of the paper is to devise
an evaluation process to measure the success of the proposed policy responses.

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