She shows that farmers are experiencing uncertainty regarding their right to use the land following the latest land reform program, instead of a sense of secure future prospects. This insecurity causes farmers to make fewer investments to prevent soil erosion.
"Zimbabwe's government needs to restore confidence and credibility in the agricultural property rights systems," says Precious Zikhali.
In her dissertation she first addresses the consequences of Zimbabwe's land reform. Secondly, she demonstrates how a tax on the edible mopane worm can prevent the overuse and annihilation of this natural resource, which is a vital source of protein for people in countries in southern Africa. A third area that Zikhali points to is how crucial it is for social institutions to combat nepotism based on ethnicity. She shows in one study that ethnic nepotism undermines trust between people in a society, which is in turn hampers the society's institutional and economic development.
The most recent part of Zimbabwe's land reform, which aims to redistribute land rights, is called the Fast Track Land Reform Program, launched in 2000. Zikhali has studied how secure the farmers involved in the reform perceive their right of possession to be, and how this in turn affects what investments they make in managing the land. The research findings show that the program has created insecurity among farmers, and reduced their investments.
"The most recently implemented land reform has failed to offer the security of tenure necessary for long term planning among farmers," says Precious Zikhali.
The management of the land involved here comprises the construction of contour ridges, a method to prevent soil erosion that is widely used in southern Africa. Since this sort of investment requires work from the farming family rather than access to money, it is not Zimbabwe's current economic crisis and hyperinflation that are limiting the will to invest but rather the sense of insecurity about the future.
In another study Zikhali compares agricultural productivity among farmers who have received land in the land reform program with the productivity of communal farmers. The findings show that the farmers involved in the reform have higher productivity and that they moreover get a higher yield per hectare when they use fertilizer than communal farmers do. But compared with the productivity realised by commercial farmers in 1999, before the reform program was launched, these reform farmers lag far behind.
"If this is acknowledged, it would facilitate necessary reforms. It's also important to develop markets with affordable prices for commercial fertilizer. This however requires an awareness and ability to deal with the environmental threats that the use of fertilizer entails," says Precious Zikhali.
The dissertation was carried out with support from the capacity building program in environmental economics funded by Sida, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)Disertation title: Land Reform, Trust and Natural Resource Management in Africa
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Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
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23.05.2017 | Event News
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26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy