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Green grabbing at the 'pharm' gate: overcoming the barriers of rosy periwinkle production in southern Madagascar

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date2012
JournalThe Journal of Peasant Studies
Number of pages23
Original languageEnglish


The following article contrasts contemporary rosy periwinkle (Catharanthus roseus) extraction in southern Madagascar with original bioprospecting research conducted 50 years ago. My study shows how plant extraction firms have shifted their approaches by creating new labor forms, which devolve risk and increase exploitation in attempts to capture the valuable biogenetic material needed for drug discovery. The periwinkle symbolizes a complex picture of many dynamic barriers to capitalist penetration at work, including the natural, social and political. Over time, these barriers change and act in conjunction to provide a complex commodity chain expressing many exploitative labor relations of green capitalism.