Smallholders and Political Voice in Zimbabwe (Hardback)Stephen F. Burgess
Hardback Published: 01/08/1997
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The book explains, for the first time, how Zimbabwe's smallholders brought about agricultural and social transformations in the 1980s and diverged from the African norm of ^D< 'urban bias.' Drawing from field research findings, the book illustrates how these transformations affected a range of rural households and, most importantly, provides a political explanation for the transformations which includes the political voice of smallholders. Three conditions have been important in the development of smallholder voice and influence: a rural-based ruling coalition; rural organizations and farmer unions; and regular multi-party elections. Smallholder influence helped bring independence and, afterwards, the sustained redistribution of agricultural and social services and consistent rises in producer prices which made rural transformation possible. In sum, the book demonstrates that, in an African country, small-scale farmers can express political voice, influence government and transform rural life.
Publisher: University Press of America