Agriculture and Big Business

by Developed Africa 6. March 2014 09:00

Linked partly to last Monday's post, the issue of whether or not big business, small farmers, and community development can go hand in hand.

In an article from Think Africa Press, they recently looked into the issue of big business working alongside a community instead of against it, and they appear to have concluded, in the one instance of Gadco in Sogakope, Ghana, that it can in fact work to the advantage of both.

thanks to the Fievie's development projects, paid for by their revenue from the Gadco nucleus farm, the community would be left in better standing than before Gadco appeared on the scene."

It would appear that there is a way in which big businesses can help to contribute to community development, by making sure that when they came into the area Gadco set up an agreement which tied their success to the success of the people and overall agricultural yield, instead of just the usual land grab situation that predominantly occurs in instances such as this. The article does however, make it clear that there is still a lot of risk in making such a close agreement. For example, having a company like that tied so closely to your success, it also means if the company fails, so does everyone else. And if the company were to go out of business altogether, what would that leave behind?

Not only this, it needs to be recognised that while it is all very well the "all in this together" spirit, there is a lot of evidence to show that big business will only be good to those they need to be good to, and the ones who they can replace, they don't treat quite so well.

However, despite the negatives, it would appear that big business has managed, at least in one instance, to bring an area up to higher than where it was before:

I'm certainly not a big pro-capitalist, but I know that if we allow this company to develop, in 5 or 10 years, things will be so different to what they are like now."

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