Book Chapter or Conference Paper Title

The politics of the smallholder-investor relationship in the Tanzanian sugar sector

Document Type

Book Chapter


Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Faculty of Arts and Sciences




Lars Buur, José J. Macuane, Faustin P. Maganga, Rasmus H. Pedersen

Publication ( Name of Journal)

Land, Rights and the Politics of Investments in Africa



Edward Elgar Publishing




Governments and development partners present the partnership between smallholders and investors in agriculture as an inclusive model. Despite its limitations, Tanzanian government is implementing a nucleus estate - outgrower schemes to boost private sector participation in agriculture. In this chapter we employ the three pillars of political economy and natural resources governance approach: “reciprocal exchange deals” between local populations and investors, “compatible interests” between investors and ruling elites, and “mutual recognition” relations between local populations and ruling elites to analyse the case of sugarcane production between the Tanzania’s Kilombero Sugar Company Limited, and outgrowers. Through literature review and field research conducted between 2014 and 2018, we demonstrate how the three relations shape sugarcane production, imports and distribution of sugar in the country. We argue that the investor-smallholder relationship is affected by the relationships between investors and ruling elites, also by the external factors related to the politics of global movement of capital, and its ownership.