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Gender, politics and sugarcane commercialisation in Tanzania

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Abstract

This article explores relationships between state, corporate capital and local stakeholders in the political economy of sugarcane from a gender perspective. The findings, based on empirical research at the site of Tanzania’s largest sugarcane producer pre- and post-privatisation, provide insights into the degree to which the estate-outgrower model can be regarded as ‘inclusive’ for women and men. Three aspects of commercial sugarcane production are analysed: land tenure, labour and leadership within canegrowers’ associations. We argue that politico-economic changes in the sector post-privatisation have increased gender differentiation in sugarcane production and consolidated power in the hands of local elites.

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