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    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:Neimark BD, Healy TM. Small‐scale commodity frontiers: The bioeconomy value chain of castor oil in Madagascar. J Agrar Change. 2018;18:632–657. https://doi.org/10.1111/joac.12231 which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/joac.12231/abstract This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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Small-scale commodity frontiers: The bioeconomy value chain of castor oil in Madagascar

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/07/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Agrarian Change
Issue number3
Volume18
Number of pages26
Pages (from-to)632-657
Publication statusPublished
Early online date16/01/18
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The European Commission defines the bioeconomy as a “transition economy which seeks to increase efficiency, optimize use and decrease environmental impact through the reduction of waste and greenhouse gas emissions.” However, attempts to substitute or control nature through efficient bio-based technology have not lived up to expectations and much of the industry still relies on globally sourced biomass to drive the bioeconomy. This article examines the social and political economic relations surrounding small-scale production of the feedstock castor oil plant (castor, Ricinus communis) in the deep south of Madagascar. Theorizing the bioeconomy through the lens of a “small-scale commodity frontier,” it builds from recent injunctions by Jason Moore to show how the appropriation of cheap nature (including paid and unpaid labour) is both historically and geographically co-produced. The castor value chain is held up as a way to transform regional economies and a “silver bullet” to alleviate poverty and address food security in some of the most economically marginal areas of Madagascar. We adopt a regional and feminist political ecology approach to illustrate what is behind this discursive cloak of “development imaginaries,” making visible the social relations surrounding castor production and demonstrating the historical marginalization involved in producing the frontier.

Bibliographic note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:Neimark BD, Healy TM. Small‐scale commodity frontiers: The bioeconomy value chain of castor oil in Madagascar. J Agrar Change. 2018;18:632–657. https://doi.org/10.1111/joac.12231 which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/joac.12231/abstract This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.