Relevance of sustainable livelihood approach in Zimbabwe’s Land Reform Programme
In contemporary developing countries, the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA) has increasingly been employed in policy and development intervention designs that focus on poverty reduction. This article investigates the SLA’s diagnostic potential as a framework that can guide development interventions and policy designs for A1 farms that were acquired under the Fast-track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP) in Zimbabwe, specifically in Chiredzi. It suggests that livelihood strategies, including diversification and risk-spreading behaviour, are imperative in A1 farming. Such livelihood strategies have, however, often been hindered by inappropriate sector-based policies. With a perceptible withdrawal of the government from A1 farming, the remaining informal livelihood strategies may now be even more valuable. The article concludes that adopting the SLA as a framework for policy and development designs can promote the role and function of A1 farming in the wider rural economy in Zimbabwe.