Econ21
Integration of peasantry into the global market: inconspicuous connections and opportunities on the fringes of large-scale investments

Convenors:
Adriana Blache (University of Toulouse)
Stream:
Economy and Development
Location:
50 George Square, G.03
Session slots:
1
Wednesday 12 June, 16:15 - 18:00

Short abstract:

The panel focuses on the integration of peasantry into the global market through inconspicuous connections and "informal" opportunities that result from the implementation of agribusiness models (e.g. large-scale investments, export-oriented outgrowers schemes, etc.).

Long abstract:

The panel focuses on the integration of peasantry into the global market through inconspicuous connections and "informal" opportunities that result from the implementation of agribusiness models (e.g. large-scale investments, export-oriented outgrowers schemes, etc.). For the last years, the development of agricultural growth corridors (e.g. SAGCOT in Tanzania, ProSavana in Mozambique, etc. ), the introduction of new export oriented crops (e.g. snow peas in Kenya, "globalised" avocado in Tanzania, etc.) change how African agricultural territories are (re)integrating into the global agricultural market. Many studies explore these agribusiness models and highlight their controversial aspects (White et al., 2012; Kaag&Zoomers, 2014; Edelman, et al., 2015). From the capitalistic infrastructure in monoculture, to the various export-oriented outgrowers schemes fostered either by transnational firms or local entrepreneurs, these models reshape the geography of the productive areas (McMichael, 2016; Blache, 2018). However, the inconspicuous connections to the global agricultural market, i.e. arrangements of actors, places and networks that organize in less visible ways branches of large flows of globalized exchanges are not well documented. The multidisciplinary panel is looking for empirical studies on how local actors jump at the opportunity resulting from the implementation of agribusiness models. How the unprecedented co-existence of agricultural models creates new opportunities at the margins and generates inconspicuous connections ? How local actors manage to work these contested model to their advantage ? How inconspicuous connections and "informal" opportunities contribute to the integration of peasantry into the global market ?