Labour Commodification, Differentiation and Marginalisation of the Peasantry in Sella Limba (Sierra Leone) from 1950 to the Present

Abstract : In Sierra Leone, migration to diamond fields and the development of cash crops have contributed to the increasing integration of the peasantry in the national and global economy. Based on the study of a small northern chiefdom, Sella Limba, we describe how the labour commodification has led to the perversion of 'traditional' social relations based on anteriority, and to the break-up of large domestic groups into smaller, more precarious ones. At the same time, manual agriculture has been marginalised by massive cheap rice imports, and remained very low in capital intensity. In this context, we show how low labour productivity curtails opportunities for long term social and economic differentiation. Farmers combine 'modern' and 'traditional' social relations, developing hybrid accumulation strategies that are sometimes close to mere survival.
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Augustin Pallière, Jean-Luc Paul, Hubert Cochet. Labour Commodification, Differentiation and Marginalisation of the Peasantry in Sella Limba (Sierra Leone) from 1950 to the Present. Journal of Agrarian Change, Wiley, 2018, 18 (4), pp.787-805. ⟨10.1111/joac.12248⟩. ⟨hal-01708368⟩

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