Taruvinga Magwiroto Understated and self-effacing, grey and a little grizzled, he walks with a slight limp and the help of a cane. If you meet Godfrey Nkunzani in the street, you would be forgiven for mistaking him for just another pensioner. He is anything but. Take a second look and you see in his penetrating grey eyes the vitality that belies the physical frailty. Talk … Continue reading Land reform success stories: The Godfrey Nkunzani farming story
Taruvinga Magwiroto Today, 25 May 2022, I visited Mr. Zenda at his makeshift home by Mazowe Dam. In a way, the gentleman is our local version of the archetypical frontiersman. But not quite: he is disabled from childhood polio and his gait is rather slow and tortured, but that does not take away the magnetic aura about him. As I got into his patch of … Continue reading A visit to another Africa
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
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)
Taruvinga Magwiroto “Command Agriculture” is a curious name to a government initiative meant to finance farmers and boost food productivity in the country. The first thing in the overhaul of the model is to change the name. But for the record, the “martial-sounding” name comes from the fact that when it was incepted, it was coordinated by the army. In fact the programme was jointly … Continue reading Command Agriculture in Zimbabwe: can it be transformed?
Taruvinga Magwiroto In Africa, being regional neighbours is a little bit like family. The mere fact of geographical proximity makes the history similar, the struggles analogous and the future somehow conjoined. It also makes your fortunes somewhat intertwined, such that “neighbourhood” has much more meaning than we think. The other day on Twitter, an influential South African journalist surmised how hard it must be for … Continue reading Neighbour’s Voices: re-considering the role of the neighbour in Africa
When I arrived at Chaminuka I was a boy threatening to become a man. It was something different from everything that I had hitherto experienced. The organisation itself was a study in organisational ambiguity: a group of people, each coming from different backgrounds, thrown together by the bureaucracy and told to get on with it. Well, we did get on with it. The Ministry of … Continue reading The Chaminuka Chapter
Taruvinga Magwiroto One of the foundational premises that should anchor any development plans for Zimbabwe and other developing countries is the centrality of land as the primary economic resource. Indeed, this fact is recognised in Zimbabwe. That, ostensibly, is why the land reform programme was launched in the first place. Fundamentally, it was about re-distribution of the national cake, broadly speaking. However, no sooner was … Continue reading Re-building Zimbabwe’s agriculture: Between a rock and a hard place.
The 20 August 2019 trip was probably the best of all my Marshal Papworth trips. Maybe it is because now I have a better grasp of what I was doing the whole of last year. Maybe it’s because now I know more of what I want to be doing in future. Maybe it was the fact that, for once, as fate would have it, the … Continue reading Reflections and musings on my trip to The Fens.
Taruvinga Magwiroto When we analyse any situation, we are constantly faced with the task of understanding how a complex situation is created and developed and how important are the various components relative in time and space” (Boyle 1981:40). Patrick Boyle (1981). Planning better programs. McGraw-Hill. Analysing any complex situation is never easy, as that quote from Boyle emphasises. To me the phrase “post land reform … Continue reading Our rural future in post land reform Zimbabwe