Burning Cane: Sugar, Land, Work and Health in Southern Mozambique
|Starts:||16:30 5 Feb 2014|
|Ends:||18:00 5 Feb 2014|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Environment, Education and Development|
The concept ‘land-grabbing’ focuses political attention on the appropriation of land, but attention needs to be given as well to the conditions under which people work in capitalist agriculture, both on large-farms and estates and on smallholder outgrower schemes in which small farmers retain, or even receive, rights to land. This paper focuses on sugar-growing practices in one particular area of southern Mozambique where Tongaat-Hulett has taken over a formerly state-owned plantation and also introduced a contract-growing scheme. It asks why pre-harvest cane-burning endures, despite the fact that it is in the long-term unhealthy for workers, communities and the land itself. It shows why the question is not resolved by technical options – mechanised versus manual harvesting or bio-fuels vs. sugar – but requires a broad transformation of the ways that agricultural wage-labour and the health of rural communities are conceived and organised.
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Humanities Bridgeford Street