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Zimbabwe: Strengthening Smallholder Market Linkages Through Contract Farming

Zimbabwe: Strengthening Smallholder Market Linkages Through Contract Farming

Jun 2012

Zimbabwe’s economy is starting to turn around after almost a decade of recession characterized by macroeconomic and political challenges. During this time, the near collapse of formal marketing channels, as well as shortages and high prices of key agricultural inputs (fertilizers, seeds, crops and chemicals), resulted in steep drops in agricultural production. Agriculture is important to the country’s economy, with about 70 percent of the population relying on it for their livelihood. Most of the country’s 1.5 million smallholder farmers are subsistence farmers. However, as the economy strengthens, the country has begun moving towards more commercialized agriculture. For example, it’s promoting the use of contract farming as a way to link smallholder farmers to markets, helping them to improve their access to inputs and boost their incomes.