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Are Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform Farms more Technically Efficient than Communal Farms?


  • Bangwayo-Skeete, Prosper F.
  • Bezabih, Mintewab
  • Zikhali, Precious


In an attempt to address a racially skewed land distribution and alleviate rural poverty, Zimbabwe has, since its independence, pursued redistributive land reform programmes. The latest phase of these programmes is the Fast Track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP) launched in 2000 to accelerate compulsory acquisition and resettlement of land. This paper uses data on FTLRP beneficiaries and a control group of unsuccessful communal applicants to examine the programme’s impact on the technical efficiency of its beneficiaries. To account for possible systematic selection into FTLRP, we employ a probit selection equation and estimate a corrected Cobb- Douglas stochastic frontier function model. The resultant inefficiency model estimates reveal that FTLRP beneficiaries are more technically efficient than communal farmers. Further, there exist a nonlinear relationship between farm size and technical efficiency. Fencing parcels and livestock holdings is found to improve technical efficiency suggesting that alleviating resource constraints would enhance technical efficiency of smallholder agriculture.

Suggested Citation

  • Bangwayo-Skeete, Prosper F. & Bezabih, Mintewab & Zikhali, Precious, 0. "Are Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform Farms more Technically Efficient than Communal Farms?," Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, vol. 49.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:qjiage:155556

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Al-Hassan Seidu & D B Sarpong & S Asuming-Brempong, 2006. "Smallholder Rice Farms In Ghana: An Analysis Of Technical Efficiency Based On Different Farming Systems And Gender," The IUP Journal of Agricultural Economics, IUP Publications, vol. 0(3), pages 21-33, July.
    2. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters,in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ines Herrero & Sean Pascoe, 2003. "Value "versus" Volume in the Catch of the Spanish South-Atlantic Trawl Fishery," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 325-341.
    4. Margaret Chitiga & Ramos Mabugu, 2008. "Evaluating the Impact of Land Redistribution: A CGE Microsimulation Application to Zimbabwe," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 17(4), pages 527-549, August.
    5. Seyoum, E. T. & Battese, G. E. & Fleming, E. M., 1998. "Technical efficiency and productivity of maize producers in eastern Ethiopia: a study of farmers within and outside the Sasakawa-Global 2000 project," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 19(3), pages 341-348, December.
    6. Meeusen, Wim & van den Broeck, Julien, 1977. "Efficiency Estimation from Cobb-Douglas Production Functions with Composed Error," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 18(2), pages 435-444, June.
    7. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
    8. Ahmed, Mohamed M. & Gebremedhin, Berhanu & Benin, Samuel & Ehui, Simeon, 2002. "Measurement and sources of technical efficiency of land tenure contracts in Ethiopia," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(03), pages 507-527, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mugabe, Douglas & Etienne, Xiaoli L., 2016. "How Efficient Is Maize Production among Smallholder Farmers in Zimbabwe?," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235938, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item


    Fast Track Land Reform Programme; agricultural productivity; technical efficiency; Zimbabwe; Agricultural and Food Policy; Farm Management; Production Economics; Productivity Analysis; D24; Q12; Q15; Q18;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy


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