The biofuel boom has become a core issue in Zimbabwean land and development debates. Biofuels require large tracts of land for production; and the land acquisition programmes by the various state, non-state actors and individuals have been termed ‘land grabbing’. The increasing global demand for biofuels has different gender specific socio-economic and environmental effects in Zimbabwe. Males and females in the biofuel producing zone may face a differential risk matrix, comprising different issues.
Nuanetsi Ranch had been invaded by villagers from different parts of Mwenezi, Chiredzi and Chivi communal areas since 2000. In February 2010, the government announced that the settlers had to be removed and resettled in other ’uncontested lands’ in the area, compromising their rights to sustainable livelihoods, human development and land acquisition. The perceptions of the men and women residing at Chigwizi has had a bearing on understanding the nature of gendered land and rural livelihoods in the context of biofuel production in Zimbabwe, after fast track land reform.
This study seeks to answer the following key questions:
How does displacement due to the large-scale biofuel production at Nuanetsi Ranch affect the land rights and livelihoods of the men and women settlers who have been resident on the land since 2000?
What are the perceptions of the men and women with regards to their displacement from Chigwizi village?
What role have the district land committee, the provincial land committees, and other institutions involved in land management played in the displacement of the men and women settlers at Nuanetsi ranch?
Has biofuel production at Nuanetsi led to a shift in policy by the government from smallholder farming back to the pre-fast track land reform phase?
What has been the role of the ‘new elites’ in biofuel production?
[adapted from source]