Sanctionsland: Time to bury Pride on the Altar of Magnanimity

Taruvinga Magwiroto One of the most polarising issues in Zimbabwean agriculture today is ZIDERA, the US law that spells sanctions against Zimbabwe. The existence, magnitude and impact of the sanctions has been so hotly contested that real truth around sanctions lies deeply buried in the debris of spin. The purpose of this article is to try to resurrect the real issues from the debris of … Continue reading Sanctionsland: Time to bury Pride on the Altar of Magnanimity

Land owners and farmers: who is who?

Taruvinga Magwiroto I’ve heard it said, several times since I started interacting with the grassroots, that “the tragedy in post land reform Zimbabwe is that the bulk of the people on the land today are not farmers”. I believe this is an assertion worth interrogating. How do we define a farmer? I’ve been grappling with this question for a long time, yet I’m not near … Continue reading Land owners and farmers: who is who?

Decamping Ghost Town: journey towards agrarian redemption in Zim agriculture

Taruvinga Magwiroto In much of recent history, Zimbabwe’s agrarian system has been largely shaped by struggles; from the time that one foreign civilization subdued and conquered a native one up to the time that the conquered rose and toppled the former. It is a society that has in fact been shaped by periodic fits of violent revolutions, each period of violence heralding new forms of … Continue reading Decamping Ghost Town: journey towards agrarian redemption in Zim agriculture

The generational equation in post land reform Zimbabwe

Taruvinga Magwiroto It is beyond debate that land is the primary source of wealth in Zimbabwe. Not only is agriculture the source of food security and a big employer, it has also been traditionally a major source of raw materials for our manufacturing industry. The close link between agriculture and manufacturing industries in Zimbabwe can be traced back to the Rhodesia sanctions years, when the … Continue reading The generational equation in post land reform Zimbabwe

Inovakwa nevene vayo: in search of deeper meaning

Taruvinga Magwiroto I have been enchanted by this catchy phrase ever since I first heard it on the ZATT platform sometime last year. I will try to take apart this phrase, decomposing it into it’s constituent parts, and then try to synthesise a deeper meaning out of it all. The idea of “nation” brings to mind boundaries or borders, a geospatial dimension. A nation is … Continue reading Inovakwa nevene vayo: in search of deeper meaning

Combating tick borne diseases in Zimbabwe: Back to the future?

Taruvinga Magwiroto Tick borne diseases (TBDs) are decimating cattle in Zimbabwe. While the statistics are understandably hard to capture, everyday we hear enough stories of woe on social media and farming-oriented WhatsApp groups to realise that this is a big problem, and is probably here to stay. It has become a silent epidemic ripping through the rural heartland of Zimbabwe. And the crucial question that … Continue reading Combating tick borne diseases in Zimbabwe: Back to the future?

Reforming vocational agricultural education in Zimbabwe (Part 2)

Taruvinga Magwiroto In Part 1 of this series, we discussed about some of the structural weaknesses in vocational agricultural curriculum design and implementation, and put forward a tentative suggestion for aligning the training with labour expectations and demands. Now, I will talk more about the envisaged institutional changes being mooted, that will see Agricultural Colleges move from being superintented by the Ministry of Agriculture to … Continue reading Reforming vocational agricultural education in Zimbabwe (Part 2)

Vocational agricultural education reform in Zimbabwe: the arguments (Part1)

Taruvinga Magwiroto Whilst there have been many discussions about how to improve Zimbabwe’s food security and the performance of its agriculture system in general, agricultural education has gone under the radar. But, as I will argue, agricultural education is a very critical part of the agricultural knowledge system. For most of my arguments, I will freely use evidence from Coombs and Ahmed (1974)’s excellent book: … Continue reading Vocational agricultural education reform in Zimbabwe: the arguments (Part1)

ICT4D: the quest for inclusive rural futures

Taruvinga Magwiroto The world is becoming “digital, digitalised and digitally-mediated at an astonishing pace” (Graham: 1), resulting in changing connectivities at the world’s margin. It is a self-evident fact that ICTs are causing creative disruption in many economic processes globally. While proponents of ICT for Development (ICT4D) would want us to believe that ICTs per se are positive for development, a more nuanced look shows … Continue reading ICT4D: the quest for inclusive rural futures

Interrogating our follies: short-term-ism in the Zimbabwean psyche

Taruvinga Magwiroto One of the ever-lasting pressures of political office has always been about limitations of time-scales of influence. You can only influence policy while you are in power, hence the obsession with “low-hanging” fruits and “quick wins”. Also the election cycle is short (+-5 years); hence there’s pressure to show some tangible results in the time that one is in power.    It’s no … Continue reading Interrogating our follies: short-term-ism in the Zimbabwean psyche