1st Edition

Political Ecology of Industrial Crops

Edited By Abubakari Ahmed, Alexandros Gasparatos Copyright 2022
    306 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    306 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This book employs a political ecology lens to unravel how industrial crops catalyse ecological, agrarian, socioeconomic, and institutional transformation.

    Using the conceptual tools and perspectives of political ecology, namely multi-scalar analysis and attention to marginalisation, social difference, and discourses and narratives, this volume provides a critical and comprehensive assessment of the transformative power of industrial cropping systems. It presents a truly international overview by drawing on a range of case studies from the global South, including soybeans in South America, cashew nuts in Guinea Bissau, cotton in India, maize in China, jatropha in Ghana, sugarcane in Peru and Eswatini, and oil palm in Ghana and Peru. The unique case studies are put into perspective with chapters introducing the key concepts of political ecology and critical dimensions of industrial cropping systems related to large-scale land acquisitions, land grabbing, and marginal land. The individual chapters employ different approaches all rooted in political ecology, thus offering a rich overview of how the field engages with such cropping systems. Overall, this volume contains valuable propositions for improving current policies and practices in industrial crop settings in both developed and developing countries.

    Through its comprehensive and interdisciplinary outlook, this volume will be of great interest to students and scholars of political ecology, agrarian studies, development studies, and ecological economics.

    Part I: Introductory

    1. Industrial crops as agents of transformation: Justifying a Political Ecology lens
    Abubakari Ahmed, Marcin Jarzebski, Alexandros Gasparatos

    2. Political Agronomy 101: An Introduction to the Political Ecology of Industrial Cropping Systems
    William G. Moseley

    3. Political ecology of large-scale land acquisitions and land grabs for industrial crops
    Abubakari Ahmed, Alexandros Gasparatos

    4. Marginal land for bioenergy crop production: Ambiguities, contradictions and cultural significance in policy and farmer discourses
    Orla Shortall, Richard Helliwell

    Part II: Ecological transformation

    5. Transforming nature, crafting irrelevance: The commodification of marginal land for sugarcane and cocoa agroindustry in Peru
    Patricia Urteaga-Crovetto, Frida Segura-Urrunaga

    6. Cashews in Conflict: The Political Ecology of Cashew Pomiculture in Guinea-Bissau
    Brandon D. Lundy

    Part III: Agrarian transformation

    7. The Political Ecology of Genetically Modified and Organic Cotton in India as Agents of Agrarian Transformation
    Andrew Flachs

    8. Changing agrarian dynamics in oil palm and jatropha production areas of Ghana: A feminist political ecology perspective
    Abubakari Ahmed, Alexandros Gasparatos

    Part IV: Socioeconomic and institutional transformation

    9. Political ecology of soybeans in South America
    Gustavo de L. T. Oliveira

    10. The Political Ecology of Maize in China: National Food Security and the Reclassification of Maize from Staple to Industrial Crop
    Li Zhang

    11. Institutional and socioeconomic transformation from sugarcane expansion in northern Eswatini
    Alexandros Gasparatos, Graham von Maltitz, Nikole Roland, Abubakari Ahmed, Shakespear Mudombi, Marcin Jarzebski

    Part V: Synthesis

    12. Political ecology of industrial crops: Towards a synthesis and systematization
    Alexandros Gasparatos, Abubakari Ahmed


    Abubakari Ahmed is a lecturer at the S.D. Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS), Ghana.

    Alexandros Gasparatos is an associate professor at the University of Tokyo and a visiting associate professor at the United Nations University, Japan.

    "…this volume addresses the political ecology of industrial crops and the factors that have caused expansion and shifts—even transformations—of industrial crops and cropping systems in various regions, stressing the Global South… Understanding how the forces of political ecology are engaged through land acquisitions, shifting demand, and policy changes to support industrial crops helps clarify the balance between food sources and industrial crops".

    J. L. Hatfield, formerly, USDA-Agricultural Research Service