IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this book chapter

Plantations Agriculture

Listed author(s):
  • Hayami, Yujiro
Registered author(s):

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.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

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.

in new window

This chapter was published in:
  • Robert Evenson & Prabhu Pingali (ed.), 2010. "Handbook of Agricultural Economics," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 1, 00.
  • 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:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    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: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.