Large plantations producing tropical cash crops based on hired labor represent a sharp contrast with small family farms, popularly called "peasants" in developing economies. The family farm is an old institution that has existed since time immemorial, but the plantation is a new institution introduced by Western colonialism for extracting tropical cash crops for export to home countries. Large-scale operation of the plantation was necessary for internalizing gains from investment in infrastructure needed for opening vast tracts of unused lands. However, where the communities of indigenous smallholders had already been established, family farms proved to be equally or more efficient producers of tropical export crops using the family labor of low supervision costs, relative to plantations based on hired labor. This advantage of family farms rose as population density increased and rural infrastructure improved, whereas not only economic but also social drawbacks of the plantation system loomed. However, reforms aimed to break down plantations to the operation of smallholders by a government's coercive power could be disruptive and inefficient. A better approach might be to support the initiative of the private sector to reorganize the plantation system into a more decentralized system, such as the contract farming system in which an agribusiness enterprise manages the processing/marketing process and contracts with small growers on the assured supply of farm-produced raw materials.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
|This chapter was published in: ||This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of Agricultural Economics with number
6-64.||Handle:|| RePEc:eee:hagchp:6-64||Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookseriesdescription.cws_home/BS_HE/description|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:hagchp:6-64. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.