Zimbabwe’s Contested Large-Scale Land-Based Investment: The Chisumbanje Ethanol Project

June 2015
PLAAS Policy Brief 43 (Prosper B. Matondi and Clemence T. Nhlizivo)

Presents an example of a biofuels production project and its value chain to argue that there is a need for a land and investment policy to guide communities, investors and stakeholders. The expansion of commercial sugarcane farming and the establishment of an ethanol refinery at Chisumbanje in Chipinge District present both opportunities and risks for rural people. Without clarity on land tenure, investors are faced with challenges when deciding the extent to which they can put their money into agriculture. When policy is blurred, it may create opportunities for some local people to benefit, while leading to dispossession and marginalisation of others. Decisive policy direction from government is needed.