Journal of
African Studies and Development

  • Abbreviation: J. Afr. Stud. Dev
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2189
  • DOI: 10.5897/JASD
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 221

Full Length Research Paper

Using the sustainable livelihood approach to explore determinants of off-farm diversification by land reform beneficiaries in Sanyati District-Mashonaland West Province-Zimbabwe

Mapuva Jephias
  • Mapuva Jephias
  • Department of Geography and Development Studies, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Bindura University, Astra Campus, Bindura, Zimbabwe.
  • Google Scholar
Fadzai Machiya
  • Fadzai Machiya
  • Geography Department, Faculty of Science, Bindura University of Science Education, Zimbabwe.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 27 January 2020
  •  Accepted: 13 March 2020
  •  Published: 31 May 2020


The study explored the socio-economic determinants of off-farm diversification by land reform beneficiaries in Sanyati District, Mashonaland West Province, Zimbabwe. The major aim of the study was to establish the reasons for off-farm diversification by resettled farmers. It established sustainability of resettled farmers’ livelihoods and investigated farmers’ perceptions of agriculture and land reform policy. Although resettled farmers got access to land, large tracts remain idle, indicating that farmers are engaged in livelihood activities other than farming. A cross sectional research design was employed and the data collection instruments were a questionnaire, focus group discussion, and structured interviews. The study found that land reform beneficiaries were diversifying from agriculture to artisanal gold mining, employment, as well as small business ventures. The research established that the livelihoods of Intensive Resettlement Scheme and Model A1 farmers who did not engage in any form of off-farm activities were not sustainable. The study concluded that off-farm diversification was having a negative impact on agricultural productivity and it recommended that government put in place credit facilities to adequately support farmers for the enduring success of the land reform programme.
Key words: Determinants, land reform, off-farm diversification, Sanyati, sustainable livelihood.