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3 The Research Context

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Chapter Summary

This chapter serves the purpose of situating the reader in the research setting. It provides a background of the history of farming in the two resettlement villages (Mudzinge and Muringamombe), a picture of the agricultural servicing institutions in the area, and a brief discussion of the significance of kinship and religious affiliation. AREX (AGRITEX) has been an important mechanism through which technical information regarding agriculture is passed onto farmers. Seed Co is the dominant institution involved in the production and marketing of maize seed in Zimbabwe. In Mupfurudzi, Cottco buys cotton and offers seed and fertiliser loans. Its competitors are Cargill and Farmers' World. The chapter underlines that it is not only at the local farmer level that development discourse is couched in political terms: as demonstrated by the case of FSI Agricom, even corporations can resort to playing the political knowledge game in the interest of profit making.

Keywords:agricultural servicing institution; AGRITEX; Cargill Zimbabwe; Cottco; FSI Agricom; Mudzinge; Muringamombe; resettlement village; Seed Co-operative Zimbabwe (Seed Co)



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