From Subsistence Agriculture to Commercial Enterprise: Community management of green technologies for resilient food production

Charles James Kingsley Latham, Loris Palentini, Munyaradzi Katemaunzanga, John Robert Patrick Ashton


The aim of this paper is to emphasize the capacity and resilience of rural communities in regard to sustainable food security by adopting innovative approaches to irrigation. The shift from subsistence to commercial agriculture is promoted as a means to sustainable development. An analysis of the efficacy of irrigation schemes in Zimbabwe suggests that, in terms of providing sustainable agricultural production, they have neither been cost-effective nor have they provided long-term food security to their beneficiaries. This is certainly true of Shashe Scheme and most others in Beitbridge District. The Shashe Irrigation Scheme project represents a bold attempt at developing a fresh approach to the management of communal land irrigation schemes through a Private Public Community Partnership. The model illustrated represents a paradigm shift from subsistence agriculture to a system based on new technologies, market linkages and community ownership that build resilience and lead to sustainable food security and economic prosperity.

Key words: Private Public Community Partnership; irrigation; governance; Market-based agriculture; food security;Maize Equivalent Income (MEI)

Data of the article

First received: 20 July 2015 | Last revision received: 28 October 2015
Accepted: 29 October 2015 | Published online: 09 December 2015
URN: nbn:de:hebis:34-2015092949080

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