The global coffee paradox and coffee marketing in Zimbabwe; 1980-2000


  • Takesure Taringana University of Zimbabwe



coffee marketing, coffee paradox, economic development, linkages


This article examines coffee marketing in Zimbabwe amidst debates on the contribution of agricultural commodities to sustainable economic development in Africa. It uses the concept of linkages and declining terms-of-trade to reconnoitre these debates. The article argues that between 1980 and 2015, coffee production, and in particular marketing, faced a myriad of internal and external challenges, which limited its overall contribution to the economy. Among these constraints was the lack of a significant domestic market, which tied the sector to external markets. The externality of the coffee industry weakened the linkages between the sector and the rest of the local economy, thereby turning the sector into an enclave of external economies. This exposed the industry to risks on the international market— including price volatility. The setup perpetuated the unfair global division of labour, where Zimbabwe suffered declining terms-of-trade as an exporter of raw coffee and an importer of manufactured products. This article, therefore, contends that the externality of the coffee industry in Zimbabwe plunged the country into an exploitative dependency relationship with consuming countries. Failure to export processed coffee was mainly a function of the restrictive tariff policies in the consuming countries.

Author Biography

Takesure Taringana, University of Zimbabwe

Author Biography

Takesure Taringana is an Economic Historian and a Lecturer in the Department of Economic History at the University of Zimbabwe. He obtained his BA Honours degree in Economic History and MPhil, African Economic History in 2008 and 2015 respectively. With funding from the prestigious German Educational Exchange Services (DAAD), Taringana enrolled for his Doctoral Fellowship at the same institution. The author has a sharp interest in agricultural commodities and development in Africa. He mainly focuses on coffee production in both colonial and post-colonial Zimbabwe. He has also demonstrated interest with themes around water & development, gender, language & development, climate change and community development.


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How to Cite

Taringana, Takesure. 2018. “The Global Coffee Paradox and Coffee Marketing in Zimbabwe; 1980-2000”. Africanus: Journal of Development Studies 47 (2):16 pages.



Received 2018-02-12
Accepted 2018-05-09
Published 2018-08-23