Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture

Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture No. 4/10

Are Zimbabwe's Fast Track Land Reform Farms more Technically Efficient than Communal Farms?

Prosper F. Bangwayo-Skeete
International College of Cayman Islands

Mintewab Bezabih
University of Portsmouth, United Kingdom

Precious Zikhali
VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands


In an attempt to address a racially skewed land distribution and alleviate rural poverty, Zimbabwe has, since its independence, pursued redistributive land reform pro¬grammes. The latest phase of these programmes is the Fast Track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP) launched in 2000 to accelerate compulsory acquisition and resettlement of land. This paper uses data on FTLRP beneficiaries and a control group of unsuccessful communal applicants to examine the programme’s impact on the technical efficiency of its beneficiaries. To account for possible systematic selection into FTLRP, we employ a probit selection equation and estimate a corrected Cobb-Douglas stochastic frontier function model. The resultant inefficiency model estimates reveal that FTLRP beneficiaries are more technically efficient than communal farmers. Further, there exist a nonlinear relationship between farm size and technical efficiency. Fencing parcels and livestock holdings is found to improve technical efficiency suggesting that alleviating resource constraints would enhance technical efficiency of smallholder agriculture.

Keywords: Fast Track Land Reform Programme, agricultural productivity, technical efficiency, Zimbabwe

JEL: D24, Q12, Q15, Q18

Vol. 49 (2010), No. 4: 319-339