Panel 8: POLITICAL ECONOMY – Estates and Outgrowers

Land deals take many divergent institutional forms, ranging from large estate agriculture based on wage labour, to outgrower and contract schemes, with many permutations in between, (including options for food crop production alongside biofuel feedstocks). This panel explores the varied institutional forms and the social relations they are producing, in the oil palm industry in Indonesia and Colombia, and in the expanding biofuel and fruit industries in Ghana.


The cases to be presented consider the socially differentiated impacts of these different forms, the wider political interests that shape them, and implications for dispossession and for (adverse) incorporation into new modes of accumulation. A common concern across the papers is to consider the degree to which institutional alternatives to corporate estates offer a solution to problems of displacement and economic exclusion of local producers, or merely alter their form.

Chair: Kojo Amanor, University of Ghana