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While the rural development consequences of Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform Programme have been heavily debated, there is a dearth of literature focusing on the post-land reform inter-relations between artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) and farming. This article discusses the growing ASGM sector, encapsulated by the phrase ‘mari yaputika’/‘gold has detonated’, examining the impacts of ‘liberating’ mineral resources in farming areas previously inaccessible to the rural poor. Drawing on research in Mhondoro Ngezi District, we argue for more subtle understandings of smallholder farming/ASGM linkages in relation to changing labour and class dynamics, challenging accounts that under-recognise the multifaceted interconnectedness of artisanal mining and farming.
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