Sugarcane in the Lowveld. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes:Agriculture:Farming types in Africa:Reasons for the decline of plantation farming in Africa

  • Despite the advantages of estate farming estate farming┬áhas its problems.
  • They exhaust soils of the same nutrients since one crop may be grown for up to 30 years or more on the same piece of land.
  • They are monocultural and if a crop disease breaks out, it spreads very quickly on the same crop undetected until the damage has been done.
  • Many profits are repatriated out of the host country and little is reinvested locally.
  • They degrade the land quickly and leave for greener pastures when the land is exhausted and useless.
  • They occupy vast tracts of land while the indigenous people are landless.
  • Most top jobs in the running of the estates are for foreigners with the local people doing poorly-paid job.
  • They may indulge in local politics and at times may sabotage the economy of the host country to gain political mileage.
  • With large scale production, they easily monopolise local food markets at the expense of small scale indigenous products.

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