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Land 2015, 4(3), 869-887; doi:10.3390/land4030869

The Anatomy of Medium-Scale Farm Growth in Zambia: What Are the Implications for the Future of Smallholder Agriculture?

International Development Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, Rm 207, Justin S Morrill Hall of Agriculture, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
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Academic Editors: Annelies Zoomers, Femke van Noorloos, Guus van Westen and Ward Anseeuw
Received: 26 May 2015 / Revised: 24 July 2015 / Accepted: 10 September 2015 / Published: 18 September 2015
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Abstract

Lost in the debates about the appropriate scale of production to promote agricultural growth in Africa is the rapid expansion of medium-scale farmers. Using Zambia as a case study, this article explores the causes and consequences of this middle-tier transformation on the future of small-scale agriculture. Combining political economic analysis with household survey data, this article examines the relationships between the growth in medium-scale farmers and changing conditions of land access, inequality, and alienation for small-scale farmers. Growth of medium-scale farmers is associated with high land inequality and rapid land alienation in high potential agricultural areas. This growth is shown to be partially driven by wage earner investment in land acquisition and is leading to substantial under-utilization of agricultural land. These processes are both limiting agricultural growth potential and foreclosing future options for an inclusive agricultural development strategy. View Full-Text
Keywords: small-scale agriculture; medium-scale farmer; land alienation; land commodification small-scale agriculture; medium-scale farmer; land alienation; land commodification
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Sitko, N.; Chamberlin, J. The Anatomy of Medium-Scale Farm Growth in Zambia: What Are the Implications for the Future of Smallholder Agriculture? Land 2015, 4, 869-887.

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