Network activities 2020-2022

Before the official launch of the Contract Farming Initiative in 2023, we undertook a number of foundational activities, listed here in this post.

  1. Special Issue – The Political Economy of Contract Farming: Emerging Insights & and Changing Dynamics (Journal of Agrarian Change)
    This special issue was conceived to celebrate and reflect on the 25th anniversary of the publication of the seminal volume Living Under Contract: Contract Farming and Agrarian Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa, edited by Peter Little and Michael Watts (1994). The articles in the special issue situate contract farming within new (and old) themes and issues of global uneven development that have (re)emerged in the last three decades. The individual papers take inspiration from the pioneering work of Living Under Contract, while also pushing research on contract farming in new directions. The contributions to this special issue therefore update and reaffirm the importance of a critical political economy approach, while also signposting a path forward for critical research on contract farming in all its forms throughout the developing world. The special issue concludes with an Epilogue by Peter Little and Michael Watts, reflecting on their original 1994 contribution.
  2. Contract Farming and Agrarian Change Workshop, 10th December 2021
    In April 2020 a workshop was planned to bring togther prominent and emerging contract farming scholars, in support of the special issue in Journal of Agrarian Change. After a fantastic response to the call for papers, this workshop had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. A second rescheduled workshop was held in an online format on 10th December 2021, with over 30 participants from all the world. The program included presentations from Forrest Zhang, Giuliano Martiniello and Ben White based on their respective papers from the special issue. We were then treated to a special session where Professor Emeritus Michael Watts provided insightful and generative reflections on researching contract farming and agrarian change in the global south. The workshop concluded with discussions around setting future research agendas for the network.

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