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Wageningen University (2015)

The nature of markets after rapid rural change : understanding rural markets in Mwenezi, Zimbabwe and Manica, Mozambique

Bosch, N.W. van den

Titre : The nature of markets after rapid rural change : understanding rural markets in Mwenezi, Zimbabwe and Manica, Mozambique

Auteur : Bosch, N.W. van den

Université de soutenance : Wageningen University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2015

Résumé partiel
Zimbabwe and Mozambique have both been subject to rapid rural changes. Were Zimbabwe has undergone the Fast Track Land Reform-programme (FTLR-p) in 2000, Mozambique has had to cope with the effects of 15 years of civil war which lasted until 1992. The wake of these events has created an agricultural and economic decline. This has also effected the rural market economies. Yet, were initially these market structures appeared fragmented, previous research such as that of Scoones et al. (2011) and Dermand et al. (2013) show that markets towns such as Mwenezi (in the South of Zimbabwe near the South-African border) and Manica (a market town in the West of Mozambique near to the Zimbabwean border) have been able to adapt and develop in the wake of these events. However, despite research, previous literature has failed to capture the social nature of these markets. By taking on a sociological approach, this study complements the work of Scoones et al. (2011) and Dermand et al. (2013) by analysing the nature of these rural markets in a more broader setting. In doing so this study has shown three elements describing the nature of these markets. First, these market towns have been subject to new players as traders and customers from elsewhere have been attracted by opportunities. In Mwenezi this encompassed a gap of supply and demand : The general lack of commodities has triggered many players to engage in cross border trading with South-Africa or by sourcing products from bigger cities. In Manica however, the development which the market has undergone is not related to opportunities brought forth by the civil war. Rather it can be related to a series of other events. This includes the FTLR-p in Zimbabwe : The FTLR-p has not only pushed Zimbabwean traders to engage in (cross-border) trading in South-Africa, but also in Manica. In addition, white farmers who were forced to emigrate, resettled in the Manica district. In doing so, these white farmers brought with them knowledge and capital, thereby contributing to local agriculture and creating an economic push in the Manica market. Simultaneously Manica has also seen a gold rush in 1999, one year prior to the FTLR-p in Zimbabwe, which has attracted gold panners and traders. This has also created an economic impulse. The arrival of these new players has restructured the markets in various ways ranging from a general growth and increase in commodity variety to the extended use of social networks by traders to sustain their businesses. In the latter case the study shows that these markets are socially constructed. They have formed according to local forms of power play, opportunities and a general form of bricolage.

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