Communal areas were made up of infertile soils.

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: Zimbabwe 1894-1969: African Agriculture

  • Africans failed to make headway in terms of agriculture
  • African reserves became overpopulated and overgrazed
  • An effort to try and resuscitate the African agriculture was started by a Christian Missionary called Emory D Alvord was the then Agriculturist for the Instruction of Natives in the Department of Agriculture and first communal areas’ extension agent
  • He encouraged Africans to use scientific farming methods to improve yields such as construction of contour ridges, storm dams and crop rotation
  • Training centres were established at Domboshava and Tsholotsho to train Africans
  • Africans who had the means could buy from 200-300 acres of land in Native Purchase Schemes but the lands were located in less productive areas
  • Successful African farmers were given the title Master Farmer and badges and this was all mockery
  • Africans could sell their produce but at discriminatory rates
  • They were heavily levied on the produce and cattle they sold
  • Efforts to revolutionize the African agriculture were futile because structures to support such as government policy, research, marketing were not available

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