Camille Munezero

Biography

By exploring local practices of land claim-making in settings of institutional multiplicity, my research aims to better understand how land tenure security works, the micro and macro-politics involved, and how land policies may take this into account. Concretely, it tries to answer the question of how land governance reform, specifically local approaches to land registration, impacts land tenure security of rural smallholders in the context of institutional multiplicity and changing social, political and economic relations in post-conflict Burundi. It resorts to a qualitative methodology focused on ethnographic fieldwork through interviews, and group discussions, and participant observation.

Abstract

Recovering large landholdings in Burundi: breaking from the past, perpetuating inequalities

Colonial and post-independence state assaults to customary land tenure in Africa have disrupted the conditions of land access and accentuated dispossessions perpetrated by politico-economic elites at the expense of powerless groups. This paper argues that current attempts to fix such grievances rather redefine the legitimacy of community membership, distort local dynamics of land use, and create new forms of exclusions. Through ethnographic fieldwork on emblematic cases in the west of Burundi, it explores the socio-political explanations and consequences of the systematic trend to return “large landholdings” in the public land domain, for the general interest and local community use. Findings show that party politics plays a major role in the recovery and redistribution of the land and brings about perverse results. On the one hand, new lan d takings take part during the process, with powerful people seizing this opportunity to acquire larger plots of land than the needy, a state of affairs tolerated as a lesser evil compared with the former situation. On the other hand, over political reasons or perceptions, the new channels of land access turn out to be closed for some persons. Those excluded or unwilling to join the unavoidable local cooperatives lose the right to use the redistributed land. Both situations lead to question the well-intentioned nature of the land recovery and redistribution, and the loss of trust in the state and local administration. This paper emphasizes the need to analyze local land dynamics in their relation to broader politics of land access and governance

Affiliation: Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Netherlands

Martha Lilly Peediyakkan

Biography

Martha Lilly Peediyakkan is a final year PhD scholar and a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Sociology department of the University of Auckland. Martha holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and two master’s degree in public administration (MA and MPhil) with specialization in Development Administration. She also has diverse work experience in the corporate sector, civil society, as well as in academia. This exposure has encouraged her to adopt an inter-disciplinary approach while engaging in her PhD thesis work titled, Hegemonic Land Struggles: A Historical Materialist Study of Sikkim State in India.

Abstract

From cash crop to carbon crop: The case of large cardamom in Sikkim, India

The ongoing debates on the shift from subsistence agrarian practices to commercial agriculture, supported by the ‘developmental’ moral rhetoric of poverty alleviation, have only gained momentum following the advent of neoliberal land grabbing. This paper intends to contribute to this debate by studying the political economy of global carbon trading, cash crop promotion, and related green grabbing in Sikkim, India. Based on empirical research and a critical analysis of state-NGO reports, the study critiques the state-driven promotion of organic large cardamom production in the Himalayan state. It discusses the transition of large cardamom production practices from traditional indigenous agroforestry to state-driven monocropping of hybrid varieties. It critiques the forest ban imposed on indigenous people that not only led to dwindling crop productivity but also intensified rural disparity. In continuation, empirical evidence highlights that poorly planned developmental projects in the eco-sensitive mountainous terrain of Sikkim have also contributed to the agrarian crisis. In 2018, Sikkim became the first Indian state to adopt 100% organic farming. In recent years, ecologists have emphasized the potential of Sikkim’s organic large cardamom to act as a carbon-sequestering crop making it eligible for carbon funding. This is against the backdrop wherein the processing of large cardamom using renewable energy has already been attracting climate-resilience financing. As of now, following the advent of the REDD+ projects, the state has taken special efforts to attract global carbon trading to ‘enhance’ the production and processing segments of the large cardamom supply chain. The paper argues that the lack of transparency around state-driven carbon trading processes appears to suggest that it is mostly the elites: the state-international aid agency-NGO-traditional landlord nexus that benefits from these initiatives. It highlights how, consequently, the prevalent forms of elitist land grabbing have aggravated in Sikkim. While traditional landlords such as the Kazi class rush to buy off the land from poor indigenous Sikkimese; the state is taking measures to convert fallow land to large cardamom plantations. Overall, the study concludes that more than a cash crop, Sikkim’s organic large cardamom has today transitioned to a carbon crop.

Affiliation: University of Auckland

Martha Lilly Peediyakkan

Biography

Martha Lilly Peediyakkan is a final year PhD scholar and a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Sociology department of the University of Auckland. Martha holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and two master’s degree in public administration (MA and MPhil) with specialization in Development Administration. She also has diverse work experience in the corporate sector, civil society, as well as in academia. This exposure has encouraged her to adopt an inter-disciplinary approach while engaging in her PhD thesis work titled, Hegemonic Land Struggles: A Historical Materialist Study of Sikkim State in India.

Abstract

From cash crop to carbon crop: The case of large cardamom in Sikkim, India

The ongoing debates on the shift from subsistence agrarian practices to commercial agriculture, supported by the ‘developmental’ moral rhetoric of poverty alleviation, have only gained momentum following the advent of neoliberal land grabbing. This paper intends to contribute to this debate by studying the political economy of global carbon trading, cash crop promotion, and related green grabbing in Sikkim, India. Based on empirical research and a critical analysis of state-NGO reports, the study critiques the state-driven promotion of organic large cardamom production in the Himalayan state. It discusses the transition of large cardamom production practices from traditional indigenous agroforestry to state-driven monocropping of hybrid varieties. It critiques the forest ban imposed on indigenous people that not only led to dwindling crop productivity but also intensified rural disparity. In continuation, empirical evidence highlights that poorly planned developmental projects in the eco-sensitive mountainous terrain of Sikkim have also contributed to the agrarian crisis. In 2018, Sikkim became the first Indian state to adopt 100% organic farming. In recent years, ecologists have emphasized the potential of Sikkim’s organic large cardamom to act as a carbon-sequestering crop making it eligible for carbon funding. This is against the backdrop wherein the processing of large cardamom using renewable energy has already been attracting climate-resilience financing. As of now, following the advent of the REDD+ projects, the state has taken special efforts to attract global carbon trading to ‘enhance’ the production and processing segments of the large cardamom supply chain. The paper argues that the lack of transparency around state-driven carbon trading processes appears to suggest that it is mostly the elites: the state-international aid agency-NGO-traditional landlord nexus that benefits from these initiatives. It highlights how, consequently, the prevalent forms of elitist land grabbing have aggravated in Sikkim. While traditional landlords such as the Kazi class rush to buy off the land from poor indigenous Sikkimese; the state is taking measures to convert fallow land to large cardamom plantations. Overall, the study concludes that more than a cash crop, Sikkim’s organic large cardamom has today transitioned to a carbon crop.

Affiliation: University of Auckland

Martha Lilly Peediyakkan

Biography

Martha Lilly Peediyakkan is a final year PhD scholar and a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Sociology department of the University of Auckland. Martha holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and two master’s degree in public administration (MA and MPhil) with specialization in Development Administration. She also has diverse work experience in the corporate sector, civil society, as well as in academia. This exposure has encouraged her to adopt an inter-disciplinary approach while engaging in her PhD thesis work titled, Hegemonic Land Struggles: A Historical Materialist Study of Sikkim State in India.

Abstract

From cash crop to carbon crop: The case of large cardamom in Sikkim, India

The ongoing debates on the shift from subsistence agrarian practices to commercial agriculture, supported by the ‘developmental’ moral rhetoric of poverty alleviation, have only gained momentum following the advent of neoliberal land grabbing. This paper intends to contribute to this debate by studying the political economy of global carbon trading, cash crop promotion, and related green grabbing in Sikkim, India. Based on empirical research and a critical analysis of state-NGO reports, the study critiques the state-driven promotion of organic large cardamom production in the Himalayan state. It discusses the transition of large cardamom production practices from traditional indigenous agroforestry to state-driven monocropping of hybrid varieties. It critiques the forest ban imposed on indigenous people that not only led to dwindling crop productivity but also intensified rural disparity. In continuation, empirical evidence highlights that poorly planned developmental projects in the eco-sensitive mountainous terrain of Sikkim have also contributed to the agrarian crisis. In 2018, Sikkim became the first Indian state to adopt 100% organic farming. In recent years, ecologists have emphasized the potential of Sikkim’s organic large cardamom to act as a carbon-sequestering crop making it eligible for carbon funding. This is against the backdrop wherein the processing of large cardamom using renewable energy has already been attracting climate-resilience financing. As of now, following the advent of the REDD+ projects, the state has taken special efforts to attract global carbon trading to ‘enhance’ the production and processing segments of the large cardamom supply chain. The paper argues that the lack of transparency around state-driven carbon trading processes appears to suggest that it is mostly the elites: the state-international aid agency-NGO-traditional landlord nexus that benefits from these initiatives. It highlights how, consequently, the prevalent forms of elitist land grabbing have aggravated in Sikkim. While traditional landlords such as the Kazi class rush to buy off the land from poor indigenous Sikkimese; the state is taking measures to convert fallow land to large cardamom plantations. Overall, the study concludes that more than a cash crop, Sikkim’s organic large cardamom has today transitioned to a carbon crop.

Affiliation: University of Auckland

Martha Lilly Peediyakkan

Biography

Martha Lilly Peediyakkan is a final year PhD scholar and a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Sociology department of the University of Auckland. Martha holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and two master’s degree in public administration (MA and MPhil) with specialization in Development Administration. She also has diverse work experience in the corporate sector, civil society, as well as in academia. This exposure has encouraged her to adopt an inter-disciplinary approach while engaging in her PhD thesis work titled, Hegemonic Land Struggles: A Historical Materialist Study of Sikkim State in India.

Abstract

From cash crop to carbon crop: The case of large cardamom in Sikkim, India

The ongoing debates on the shift from subsistence agrarian practices to commercial agriculture, supported by the ‘developmental’ moral rhetoric of poverty alleviation, have only gained momentum following the advent of neoliberal land grabbing. This paper intends to contribute to this debate by studying the political economy of global carbon trading, cash crop promotion, and related green grabbing in Sikkim, India. Based on empirical research and a critical analysis of state-NGO reports, the study critiques the state-driven promotion of organic large cardamom production in the Himalayan state. It discusses the transition of large cardamom production practices from traditional indigenous agroforestry to state-driven monocropping of hybrid varieties. It critiques the forest ban imposed on indigenous people that not only led to dwindling crop productivity but also intensified rural disparity. In continuation, empirical evidence highlights that poorly planned developmental projects in the eco-sensitive mountainous terrain of Sikkim have also contributed to the agrarian crisis. In 2018, Sikkim became the first Indian state to adopt 100% organic farming. In recent years, ecologists have emphasized the potential of Sikkim’s organic large cardamom to act as a carbon-sequestering crop making it eligible for carbon funding. This is against the backdrop wherein the processing of large cardamom using renewable energy has already been attracting climate-resilience financing. As of now, following the advent of the REDD+ projects, the state has taken special efforts to attract global carbon trading to ‘enhance’ the production and processing segments of the large cardamom supply chain. The paper argues that the lack of transparency around state-driven carbon trading processes appears to suggest that it is mostly the elites: the state-international aid agency-NGO-traditional landlord nexus that benefits from these initiatives. It highlights how, consequently, the prevalent forms of elitist land grabbing have aggravated in Sikkim. While traditional landlords such as the Kazi class rush to buy off the land from poor indigenous Sikkimese; the state is taking measures to convert fallow land to large cardamom plantations. Overall, the study concludes that more than a cash crop, Sikkim’s organic large cardamom has today transitioned to a carbon crop.

Affiliation: University of Auckland

Martha Lilly Peediyakkan

Biography

Martha Lilly Peediyakkan is a final year PhD scholar and a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Sociology department of the University of Auckland. Martha holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and two master’s degree in public administration (MA and MPhil) with specialization in Development Administration. She also has diverse work experience in the corporate sector, civil society, as well as in academia. This exposure has encouraged her to adopt an inter-disciplinary approach while engaging in her PhD thesis work titled, Hegemonic Land Struggles: A Historical Materialist Study of Sikkim State in India.

Abstract

From cash crop to carbon crop: The case of large cardamom in Sikkim, India

The ongoing debates on the shift from subsistence agrarian practices to commercial agriculture, supported by the ‘developmental’ moral rhetoric of poverty alleviation, have only gained momentum following the advent of neoliberal land grabbing. This paper intends to contribute to this debate by studying the political economy of global carbon trading, cash crop promotion, and related green grabbing in Sikkim, India. Based on empirical research and a critical analysis of state-NGO reports, the study critiques the state-driven promotion of organic large cardamom production in the Himalayan state. It discusses the transition of large cardamom production practices from traditional indigenous agroforestry to state-driven monocropping of hybrid varieties. It critiques the forest ban imposed on indigenous people that not only led to dwindling crop productivity but also intensified rural disparity. In continuation, empirical evidence highlights that poorly planned developmental projects in the eco-sensitive mountainous terrain of Sikkim have also contributed to the agrarian crisis. In 2018, Sikkim became the first Indian state to adopt 100% organic farming. In recent years, ecologists have emphasized the potential of Sikkim’s organic large cardamom to act as a carbon-sequestering crop making it eligible for carbon funding. This is against the backdrop wherein the processing of large cardamom using renewable energy has already been attracting climate-resilience financing. As of now, following the advent of the REDD+ projects, the state has taken special efforts to attract global carbon trading to ‘enhance’ the production and processing segments of the large cardamom supply chain. The paper argues that the lack of transparency around state-driven carbon trading processes appears to suggest that it is mostly the elites: the state-international aid agency-NGO-traditional landlord nexus that benefits from these initiatives. It highlights how, consequently, the prevalent forms of elitist land grabbing have aggravated in Sikkim. While traditional landlords such as the Kazi class rush to buy off the land from poor indigenous Sikkimese; the state is taking measures to convert fallow land to large cardamom plantations. Overall, the study concludes that more than a cash crop, Sikkim’s organic large cardamom has today transitioned to a carbon crop.

Affiliation: University of Auckland