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One of the key issues I think we should confront in debating land and agrarian reform on this blog – and this is going to sound odd coming from a PLAAS researcher  – is the relative marginality of ‘the agrarian question’ to mainstream South African politics.

After a decade of political polarisation and international stand-off, the debate on Zimbabwe has finally been opened up to a wider reading public, thanks to Mahmood Mamdani’s ‘Lessons of Zimbabwe’ appearing in the London Review of Books(4 December 2008) and  

The long-awaited political agreement in Zimbabwe is to be welcomed. After years of political impasse and economic instability, there is a potential for a new start. But an informed debate on the future is needed and a focus on land and the agricultural sector must be central to these discussions.