1.2.4 Capitalistic Farming

Various forms of farming with characteristics of capitalistic management exist in the world. Examples are the farming corporations in North America, the ranches in Latin America, and the agroindustrial konbinats in Eastern Europe. The most important type of capitalistic farming in the developing countries are the plantations. A plantation is a large scale farm that primarily grows perennial crops, e.g., trees or bushes or shrubs, frequently in a one crop system. The produce is usually processed industrially in the plantation's own processing plant and is destined for export (sugar cane, bananas, tea, coffee, cacao, sisal, oil palms, coconut, etc,), The plantation are often owned by foreigners.

The industrial processing demands consistent quality and an uninterrupted delivery of a quantity sufficient enough to make full use of the plants' capacity. The management is, therefore, characterized by strict control and a rigid hierarchy. By employing top level personnel for the management, the productivity is very high. The plantation, however, serves first and foremost foreign interests and, as an enclave, is often of little benefit to the domestic economy. The countries receive large sums from the export taxes, indeed; however, the economic and political influence is sometimes considerable. Furthermore, the social conditions are often poor, although this varies. The working mass has a very low income, few prospects of a better job, and often miserable living conditions. The plantation supplies living quarters, indeed, but they are frequently of the poorest quality. Nutritional and health conditions are poor, partly due to the lacking subsistence production. Labourers are often recruited from other regions, countries, or population groups, which leads to even greater problems. Plantations that are owned by the domestic elite have the same characteristics, with the only difference being that the productivity is frequently lower.