Rural Life and Agriculture Tour - Terranova Estate [ Biz/ed Virtual Developing Country ]

Terranova Estate

Introduction to Large Scale Agricultural Production

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During the colonial administration large white run farms were given the responsibility to produce food for Zambia's growing urban and industrial areas. At Independence many of these European farmers moved out of Zambia. However, some stayed and continued to farm the large estates producing a range of agricultural products but concentrating on growing maize for the domestic market. In their drive for profits alternative cash crops were sought. Some grew tobacco, some cotton and some notably those located on higher altitudes planted coffee bushes.

Coffee Production in Zambia
Coffee Beans

The Terranova Estate is an example of a large commercial farm that has devoted about a fifth of its land to the production of coffee. The rest of the 1000 hectares is used to grow more traditional crops for the domestic market such as maize.

The economy of Zambia is heavily dependent for foreign exchange on its mining activities. However as the prices of copper have fallen the government has looked to the commercial farms for alternatives to provide export revenue. The Export Board of Zambia (EBZ) has examined a range of Non Traditional Exports (NTEs) with primary agricultural products such as coffee, horticulture and floriculture seen as potentially the most profitable.

Despite the droughts, falling commodity prices and high rates of interest these areas of production have performed well. Indeed many economists see these non-traditional agricultural commodities as being essential to the economy of Zambia in its attempt to grow.

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Related Glossary Items:
Cash crops
Primary products