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Crop Production in a Variable Environment: A Case Study from Southern Zimbabwe

  • Ian Scoones (a1)

Biophysical and socio-economic variability have several impacts on farmers' cropping strategies in dryland areas of Africa. This study examines data from a communal area in southern Zimbabwe over a seven year period. Variation in the output of different crops, in the pattern of crop mixes, in the diversity of cropping patterns and the level of crop sales is explored. Through contrasts between ecological zones and household wealth status, the analysis helps to explain the range of farm-level risk management strategies employed. Finally, the importance for research and extension approaches of understanding variability, through a differentiated analysis of cropping strategies, is emphasized.

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Experimental Agriculture
  • ISSN: 0014-4797
  • EISSN: 1469-4441
  • URL: /core/journals/experimental-agriculture
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