New Paths to Capitalist Agricultural Production in Africa: Experiences of Ghanaian Pineapple Producer-Exporters

Lindsay Whitfield

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With the global restructuring of agri-food markets since the 1980s, an impressive amount of scholarship has examined its impacts in African countries. However, little has been written on the emergence of local medium and large-scale commercial farmers selling to export companies or controlling their own export marketing arrangements. This article examines Ghanaian commercial farmers producing and exporting fresh pineapples to European markets. This group of pineapple producer–exporters represents a path to capitalist agricultural production that can be
conceptualized as capitalism from outside: where capital flows into the countryside, rather than accumulation occurring from above or below within the agrarian economy. The emergence of this form of agrarian capitalism is stimulated by opportunities in new high-value agricultural export markets, but its stabilization depends on country-specific characteristics such as rural social structures, property rights and state support. The article documents the conditions of emergence of this new group of Ghanaian capitalist farmers, the period of destabilization caused by increasing
international competition that resulted in a small number of large-scale agribusiness firms surviving, and the challenges that these agribusiness firms faced in stabilizing their capitalist agricultural production.
TidsskriftJournal of Agrarian Change
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)535-556
Antal sider22
StatusUdgivet - 2017

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