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
Taruvinga Magwiroto This article has its genesis with a meeting I had yesterday with Dr. Andrew Ainslie, a white, male South African Associate Professor in international development at the University of Reading. (He is an anthropologist by training, so he understands the importance of “positionality!”). Needless to say, our meetings are always intellectually stimulating, and he asked me a question that really stumped me, but … Continue reading The land question: when South Africa meets Zimbabwe.
Taruvinga Magwiroto To a farming man or woman from anywhere else in the world, a visit to the East of England evokes an answering chord of unspoken camaraderie. Farmers the world over share with the fine women and men of the East of England these qualities: solidity; common sense; industry; unparalleled hospitality and capacity and desire to learn from others. Marshal Papworth was one such … Continue reading Marshal Papworth: the power of transformative facilitation.
Yesterday, 17 June was my birthday. I am one year older than I was last year. I have committed my whole life to learning, and it is about that subject that I will draw a few insights from my life. Learning: much much more than books When a lot of people hear about learning, they immediately start to think about books, libraries and examinations. Fair … Continue reading Inspiration on my birthday: lessons on life and learning.
Taruvinga Magwiroto That year in Hurungwe still stands out as the most significant in my career. If anything, it confirmed that at least I was no slouch in terms of professional skills and knowledge. That was the basis of my authority anyway: strip that away, I was nothing really. So I was happy with my level, and had seen and done enough to be self-satisfied … Continue reading Adventures in the field: at the beaches of Binga!