Zimbabwe’s land reform since 2000 has been intensely controversial. Overturning the settler colonial pattern of land use and creating a new agrarian structure has had far-reaching consequences.

Yet the debate about what happened, where and to who has too often been shallow and ill-informed, and not based on solid empirical evidence from the field.

STEPS co-director Ian Scoones has been working on research which overturns the myths about Zimbabwe’s land reform programme. This programme has involved a detailed study of what happened to people’s livelihoods after land reform, across 16 land reform sites and 400 households.

Ian has recently written a series of short blogs on the Zimbabweland website, on some of the misconceptions and inaccuracies that still persist. All the details of the research can be found on the site.

Meanwhile Ian discussed the research at the Yale Agrarian Studies Colloquium session in early December, giving a paper entitled Zimbabwe’s land reform: challenging the myths, which can be found on the Yale website.

And the BBC has produced some radio programmes and a web article about the research, which can be accessed via the following links:
BBC Radio 4 Crossing Continents programme on Farming Zimbabwe, by Martin Plaut, World Service Africa editor

BBC Radio 4 ‘From our own Correspondent’ piece by Martin Plaut.

BBC News Africa article Are Zimbabwe’s new farmers winning, 10 years on? by Martin Plaut