IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Land Tenure, Agrarian Structure, and Comparative Land Use Efficiency in Zimbabwe: Options for Land Tenure Reform and Land Redistribution


  • Roth, Michael J.
  • Bruce, John W.


Zimbabwe reached a crucial crossroads in its land reform with the expiration of the Lancaster House Constitution in April 1990, which opened the door for policy debate on alternative land-redistribution options. Proponents of the land reform have aggressively called for an expansion of the resettlement program to help redress the unequal distribution of land resources and to rectify acute land scarcity in communal areas. Opponents of rapid and substantial land reform have emphasized the superior efficiency of the commercial farming sector and the adverse consequences that a substantially expanded resettlement sector would have on agricultural output and the balance of trade. Many key questions lie at the heart of the land policy debate. First, what tenure arrangements might best serve farmers in the different sectors-communal, commercial, and resettlement-and how might they be instituted to provide equitable access, secure tenure, and flexibility in the face of changing economic conditions? Second, what legal framework ought to be instituted to facilitate the movement of land between farmers and enterprises within the system and what outcomes would be expected in terms of the distribution of agricultural landholdings among individuals and groups in society? Third, how would the process of land reform influence output, trade, and income distribution? Specifically, should land reform continue, and if so, what form should it take? What is the comparative efficiency of production in the commercial and communal sectors, and what gains or losses might be anticipated from resettlement? What legislative, institutional, and market reforms are needed to complement resettlement and to resolve the problems of land resource degradation in communal areas? These and other questions serve to focus this study.

Suggested Citation

  • Roth, Michael J. & Bruce, John W., 1994. "Land Tenure, Agrarian Structure, and Comparative Land Use Efficiency in Zimbabwe: Options for Land Tenure Reform and Land Redistribution," Research Papers 12750, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Land Tenure Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uwltrp:12750
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.12750

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Binswanger, Hans P. & Elgin, Miranda, 1988. "What are the Prospects for Land Reform?," 1988 Conference, August 24-31, 1988, Buenos Aires, Argentina 183168, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Bruce, John W., 1986. "Land Tenure Issues In Project Design And Strategies For Agricultural Development In Sub-Saharan Africa," LTC Papers 292568, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Land Tenure Center.
    3. Rohrbach, David D., 1989. "The Economics of Smallholder Maize Production in Zimbabwe: Implications for Food Security," Food Security International Development Papers 54060, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    4. Carter, Michael R, 1984. "Identification of the Inverse Relationship between Farm Size and Productivity: An Empirical Analysis of Peasant Agricultural Production," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 131-145, March.
    5. Riddell, James C. & Dickerman, Carol, 1986. "Country Profiles Of Land Tenure: Africa 1986," LTC Papers 292567, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Land Tenure Center.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Bruce, John W., 1998. "Country Profiles Of Land Tenure: Africa, 1996," Research Papers 12759, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Land Tenure Center.
    2. Thwaites, R.N. & Carter, J.L. & Norman, P.L. (ed.), 2004. "COMMUNITY BASED RESOURCE PLANNING - Studies from Zimbabwe and Northern Australia," Monographs, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, number 114055.

    More about this item


    Land Economics/Use;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:uwltrp:12750. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.