City slickers on the farm: Africa’s real land grab

 

AFTER half an hour poking around Martin Shem’s farm, Paul Kavishe is impressed, even a little jealous. “He has done well,” says Mr Kavishe. “He’s a real farmer!” This is strange praise, not because Mr Shem’s dairy, maize and mango-growing operation on the outskirts of Morogoro is not admirable, but because both men have had university careers. For middle-class Tanzanians, though, a successful farmer trumps a successful academic.

“Every Tanzanian is a farmer,” explains Ali Aboud, another professor who has moved into agriculture. He cultivates about 20 hectares of rice paddy; in the past three years a businessman from Dar es Salaam and another city-dweller have bought big farms near his fields. These men are part of a quiet, hard-to-track but momentous change in Africa, which has profound consequences for the continent’s most important industry- The Economist

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About Nelly Niyonzima

For Africa, International Relations, Geopolitical Trends and Strategic Issues.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Africa, East Africa, Industry Sector and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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