Farmlands, or agricultural landscapes, captures the interest of a number of researchers based at the Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University. On this blog we share information about research findings, activities, events and comments related to our work.
Our interest in farmlands has three roots: farming, landscape and society.
Farming as a practice, including farmers knowledge and labour investments
Landscape as society-nature relations, congealed history, and as space and place
Society as a short form for institutions, gender relations, political economy and scientific relevance
Most Welcome to FarmLandS!
Friday, November 18, 2016
Previous posts on this site are:
june 2016: End of road for Ecoenergy?
March 2016: Sida critised by National Audit for their Ecoenergy support
March 2015: Time running out for Ecoenergy?
April 2014: More iconic farming images
April 2014: Funny pictures about farming
March 2013: Swedish land grab in Tanzania causes protests
On two previous occasions we have almost declared the death of this project first following the withdrawal of Swedish Sida support in 2015 and then in June 2016 following the declaration by the prime minister in Tanzanian parliament that the environmental concerns for wildlife would stop the project.
It will be a future research task to find outwhat has really happened with this project since president Magufuli took over from Kikwete in November 2015. It now seems that the environmental concerns against this project voiced by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa in parliament in June may just have been a smokescreen for other things going on. According to Daily News in August the president offered 10 000 hectares of land in Bagamoyo to Cuba for a sugar plantation. Since then there have been press reports that the president has offered 10,000 hectares of land in Bagamoyo for sugar plantations to the Tanzanian Bakhresa group.
In todays edition of East African Business Times the circumstances around the 10,000 hectares of land in Bagamayo are reported like this:
“The ministry has opened dialogue with existing sugar producers in a bid to address the challenges farmers face in a bid to increase production through government support,” says Mwijage, adding that the ministry is currently implementing a presidential directive to set aside land in Bagamoyo District for local investor Bakhresa Group of companies to set up sugar factory. The plot of land was offered to the company after the government confiscated it from its previous owner who failed to use it for the benefit of the country."
Although Ecoenergy is not mentioned in this article I can only find this to mean that the Tanzanian government has indeed confiscated the land to which SEKAB/Ecoenergy had a long-term lease on the former RAZABA ranch. If this is true it means that the Tanzanian government is not so concerned about neither the wildlife nor the local smallholders, but is ready to give the land to national agrobusiness interests rather than to Swedish.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Finally published: A long term project covering a long period. Investigating deserted farms in Sweden to understand tenure, lordship, social relations and farming systems during the Middle Ages:
Is it possible to survive on a deserted farm: Manors, tenants and farming systems during the Middle Ages in the Lägerbo area, Östergötland.
This study approaches the late medieval farm desertion from a landscape perspective. It focuses on the area of a former medieval estate in southern Östergötland, Sweden. Based on a retrogressive analysis of cadastral maps and historical records the medieval settlement is reconstructed. In this process three formerly unknown deserted farms were identified, with abandoned field systems and building remains. The volume provides the archaeological documentation of field systems and settlements at these sites. These data provide the background for investigating the shifting social and ecological circumstances that once made it possible for tenant families to survive on these farms. During the height of the manorial system the small farms were specialised units in a redistributive system. In the late 14th century the estate and all tenant farms were donated to the convents of Vadstena and Vreta. Rents were no longer paid in labour but in butter. In the fifteenth century several farms were abandoned and turned into meadows under the surviving farms. The new tenurial relations prevented the recolonization of the farms. The study is the result of an interdisciplinary project involving medieval archaeology, historical geography, palynology and medieval history.
Buy the book (in Swedish) http://vitterhetsakad.bokorder.se/sv-se/shop/book/2861?slug=kan-man-leva-pa-en-odegard
Or read a very preliminary (and old) report from the project in The Archaeology and Anthropology of Landscape
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
PhD defense "Ecosystem Services and Disservices in an Agriculture–Forest Mosaic: A Study of Forest and Tree Management and Landscape Transformation in Southwestern Ethiopia"
Opponent Tobias Plieninger, Associate Professor
Supervisor Lowe Börjeson, Associate Professor
Venue: De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Frescati, Stockholm