Econ23
"Land grabbing" and political economy of investments in export horticulture in Africa

Convenors:
Tobias Haller (University of Bern)
Chair:
Rama Dieng (University of Edinburgh)
Stream:
Economy and Development
Location:
50 George Square, G.02
Friday 14 June, 8:45-10:30

Short abstract:

The post-2008 land rush has generated a literature that has long focused on methodological and conceptual issues and has been investigating socio-economic implications of such interventions only recently. This panel invites papers focusing on outcomes of investments in African export horticulture.

Long abstract:

Over the last decade or so, a rising interest in farmland has been experienced in developing countries including in Africa that has been denounced by NGOs, think-tanks and the academia. Depending on the claims of outcomes, investments in agricultural projects requiring land and/or labour, have been dubbed the land rush, or 'land grabbing' . Yet, the drivers of this rush are contested, as are its actors and scale, creating a fierce debate between activists, academics and politicians. Export horticulture in particular reflects the diversity of labour, and capital involved. In this land rush debate, there have been missing dimensions such as social reproduction, the impact and policy implications of different types of accumulation and type of labour-regime for capitalist development. This panel invites papers focusing on a critical political economy and/or feminist approach of investments in African export horticulture especially in the context of the land rush using empirical evidence and rigorous research. The papers should also address issues that have been side-lined such as policy, firms' type of labour regime (contract-farming, estates, nucleus outgrower, etc.). More specifically, this panel invites papers focusing on issues of: - processes and responses to land acquisition, - labour, - capital and capitalism, - livelihood and other outcomes.