Agricultural Reform in Rwanda

Authoritarianism, Markets and Zones of Governance

Chris Huggins

Agricultural Reform in Rwanda

Chris Huggins

Distributed for Zed Books

288 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781786990006 Published October 2017 For sale in North and South America only

International observers have lauded Rwanda as an example of an African country that has taken control of its own development trajectory, and thus as a market-friendly destination for investment. A key component of this has been an ambitious program of agricultural reform, involving private firms, NGOs, and international charities. The Rwandan government claims these reforms have been a resounding success, tripling crop yields and helping to combat hunger. But, as Chris Huggins argues, Rwanda’s liberal, modern image sits poorly beside the regime’s continuing authoritarian tendencies.
 
Featuring in-depth case studies of the effects of agricultural reform in three different regions, and drawing on hundreds of interviews, Huggins shows that the much-vaunted liberalization of agriculture has, in fact, depended on the coercion of Rwandan farmers, and in many cases has had a detrimental impact on their livelihoods. With the Kagame regime now coming under increasing international scrutiny, this work provides a timely look at the impact of this contradictory market-friendly authoritarianism in contemporary Africa, which will be of interest to students and scholars of development in the fields of sociology, anthropology, political science, and economics.
 

Contents
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Introduction
1 Contemporary agricultural reforms in sub-Saharan Africa
2 Theorizing governance in post-genocide Rwanda
3 An overview of the political economy of agricultural reform in Rwanda
4 Rwanda’s engagement with international aid and foreign direct investment
5 Systems of governmentality and discipline in Rwanda
6 Agricultural cooperatives in Musanze District
7 Pyrethrum production in Northern Province
8 Maize production and ‘fugitive farmers’ in Kirehe District
Conclusion
Notes
References
Index
 
Review Quotes
Timothy M. Shaw, University of Massachusetts Boston
“A very informed, nuanced analysis of agriculture in Rwanda, spanning zones of governance, compliance, and resistance in a ‘developmental’ state. As always, only some citizens and communities benefit. This book shows us why.”
Goran Hyden, University of Florida, emeritus
“A well-researched book on Rwanda, using an interesting blend of theoretical insights. It highlights the drama in Africa associated with capturing peasants for national development while at the same time avoiding elite capture of the public good.”
An Ansoms, coauthor of Losing your Land: Dispossession in the Great Lakes
“An in-depth analysis of Rwanda’s problematic rural reengineering project. It is an essential contribution to the contemporary literature on post-conflict reconstruction and development.”
Ian Scoones, coeditor of Africa's Land Rush: Rural Livelihoods and Agrarian Change
“Based on detailed fieldwork, this book substantially advances our understanding of the Rwandan story. Anyone interested in the political economy of African agriculture should read this book.”
Philip McMichael, author of Food Regimes and Agrarian Questions
“An extraordinary study of the state-directed commercialization of Rwandan agriculture. In this nuanced account, Huggins reworks the contemporary agrarian question.”
Timothy Longman, Director of the African Studies Center at Boston University
“Drawing on his deep knowledge of Rwanda and extensive fieldwork, Huggins convincingly demonstrates that Rwanda’s agricultural development programs represent an extension of the state’s authoritarian control, and lead to popular resentment and resistance.”
Rita Abrahamsen, University of Ottawa

“Theoretically sophisticated and rich in empirical detail. The book deserves a wide readership and can profitably be read by scholars and policy makers alike.”

Catharine Newbury, Smith College (Emeritus)
“In a nuanced and compelling account, Huggins explores why Rwanda’s ambitious agricultural modernization program has undermined the livelihoods of many of the country’s smallholder farmers. It should be required reading for scholars and practitioners engaged with state-sponsored rural development in Africa.”
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