In Senegal, the growth of horticulture has been particularly rapid in the last decade or so, partly coinciding with the 2007–2008 ‘land rush’ and a boom in agricultural investment. This article analyses the implications of the rise in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the horticultural sector in northern Senegal. Specifically, it examines FDIs’ effects on labour migration and the social reproduction of rural classes of labour through an intersectional feminist and gendered lens. It argues that invisibilised ‘care chains’ that overly burden women, and communities of solidarities, play a crucial role in the social reproduction of horticultural workers, most specifically migrant workers, and provide a subsidy to agrarian capital. Therefore, care chains enable capital to exploit labour and accumulate profits. Yet, capitalist development does not always translate to better wages and more inclusive laws and policies for horticultural wage workers and providers of caring labour who are adversely incorporated in these political economies. As a result, this requires further attention from policy-makers and political leaders. Using a combination of working life histories and survey data gathered through two rounds of fieldwork over two years, and secondary data from relevant databases, this article focuses on the River Valley Region (where public investment in agriculture was more significant than in the rest of the country) and Louga to analyse the emerging challenges of labour migration and social reproduction in rural Senegal.
About the speaker
Rama Salla Dieng is a Senegalese feminist academic and writer. She is currently a Lecturer in African Studies and International Development at the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh. Rama’s research focuses on African feminisms and care, agrarian change and capitalist accumulation, labour and social reproduction in Africa. She is the co-editor of a Special Issue on Agrarian Change, Food Security, Sustainable Development in Senegal and Zimbabwe. Rama is also the editor of Féminismes africains: une histoire décoloniale (Présence Africaine, Paris, 2021), the co-editor of a collective book on Feminist Parenting, Perspectives from Africa and Beyond (Demeter Press, Canada, 2020).
PART OF THE GENDER SEMINAR SERIES
The Gender Centre has developed this series of research seminars in order to offer a platform for exchange for students, doctoral students in particular, and researchers whose work includes a gender perspective. During this monthly series, researchers have the opportunity to discuss their work, meet peers from different disciplines at the Graduate Institute, as well as interact with other students, guest speakers and faculty members.
See the programme of this semester's Gender Seminar Series here.
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