This resulted in a major feature of the Rhodesian economy—the "white farm".The white farm was typically a large (38.6 mi²)) mechanised estate, owned by a white family and employing hundreds of black people.
Many white farms provided housing, schools, and clinics for black employees and their families.
At the time of independence in 1980, over 40% of the country's farming land was contained within 5,000 white farms.
A small number of people of European ethnicity first came to the British colony of Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) as settlers during the late-nineteenth century, during the Scramble for Africa.
A steady immigration of White people continued for about the next 75 years.
There were influxes of white immigrants from the 1940s through to the early 1970s.
The most conspicuous group were former British servicemen in the immediate post-war period.They also found some of the best farmland in Africa.The central part of Zimbabwe is a plateau which varies in altitude between 900 and 1,500 m (2,950 and 4,900 ft) above sea level.The white population of Zimbabwe reached a peak of about 296,000 in 1975, representing just over 8% of the population.It fell to around 120,000 in 1999 and to less than 50,000 in 2002.The following year, Southern Rhodesians rejected, in a referendum, the option of becoming a province of the Union of South Africa.