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Extending Participation in the Swaziland Sugar Industry to Small-Scale Growers: Patterns and Prospects

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Since its inception in 1956, the Swazi sugar industry has been dominated by large-scale estates. In 1991, due to a combination of political and economic factors, steps were taken to allow the industry to become more accessible to small-scale Swazi farmers. The paper considers the scale and nature of this newly emerging group and discusses its likely impact on employment. Although these developments have been introduced to enable the benefits of the industry to trickle down more effectively to the rural poor, evidence suggests that better off or more organised groups or individuals are best placed to take advantage of the new opportunities. Further growth is now limited by a lack of water and it is likely that the recent rapid increase in this sector will now slow down. Some concern also exists over the impact of sugar cane monoculture on soils.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Environmental Management and Geography, University of the West of England, Bristol, U.K.

Publication date: December 1, 1997

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