Charles Murithi, Kenyan farmer (photo credit: BurnessGlobal/Jeff Haskins).
For middle-class Tanzanians . . . a successful farmer trumps a successful academic. . . . [A] quiet, hard-to-track but momentous change [is happening] in Africa, which has profound consequences for the continent’s most important industry.
‘[I]n Kenya, Malawi and Zambia (though not in Ghana) most medium-sized farms were not built by successful smallholders but bought by urbanites. In Tanzania, where about one-third of the population is urban, city-dwellers are thought to own 33% of the farmland, up from just 12% a decade ago. Typically, the new farmers are middle-aged public-sector workers.
The popular obsession with foreign land grabs is wrong-headed, says Isaac Minde of Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro. If there is a land grab in Africa, it is being done by African urbanites.
‘City-dwellers are going into farming partly because legal reforms have made buying land easier and ownership…
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