Commercial farming and social change in Mkushi district, 1945-1975
Simunchembu, Chipo Munzabwa
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The study deals with agricultural development within the context of a changing environment both under colonial rule and in the post-colonial period. It is a case study of Mkushi District in which a farm block was established where white farmers, especially ex-servicemen, were settled on crownland in the 1950s.In this study I argue that ecological problems in agriculture and animal husbandry were serious constraints in the economic development of the area. Colonial rulers were concerned about solving ecological problems facing agriculture. This concern facilitated the exploitation of natural resources. The colonial policies after 1950 were formulated and implemented mainly to deal with environmental problems as a way of facilitating improved agricultural production. These efforts were relatively successful during the colonial era but were not so successful in the post-colonial period because the new government did not fully attend to conservation measures. The study will also deal with the socio-economic changes which were brought about by the development of commercial farming amongst the farm workers in the farm block.The first chapter gives a historical background of commercial farming in Northern Rhodesia from 190-0-1945. It examines the government policies pertaining to commercial farming in a colonial setting.The second chapter is the main chapter and deals with the development of commercial farming on Mkushi farm block. It also examines the policies of the colonial government regarding commercial agriculture in the area.The final chapter discusses the post-colonial agricultural developments in the farm block.