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“Etre agricultrice, c’est plus difficile”: women farmers on La Reunion

An unusual initiative of the Association Espace Ajoupa last Saturday 11 March created a platform for discussion of some of the issues that women farmers on Reunion face. Through the medium of theatre, their problems, as well as other issues like violence, pollution and unfair competition were debated. Despite forming an essential part of the island’s economy, women farmers face competition from large scale farming, as well as social prejudice from male farmers. More information and a link of an interview with Murielle Lebon, proud “agricultrice”, is on http://www.ipreunion.com/photo-du-jour/reportage/2017/03/11/semaine-des-droits-des-femmes-la-manifestation-fanm-later-s-est-deroulee-ce-samedi-espace-ajoupa-quand-les-femmes-se-battent-pour-leur-terre,58811.html. According to online figures of the Reunion Chambre of Commerce, the island has 7623 plots, worked on by 7872 farmers of whom 1269 are women. Adding family and farmhands brings Reunion’s total employment in agriculture to over 21,000. 96,5% of plots, 7358 of the plots are smaller than 20 acres (96,5%) mostly producing sugar cane (57%) and some other crops. Around 30% of Reunion’s export value comes from sugar cane production. http://www.reunion.chambagri.fr/spip.php?rubrique55      

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China’s Neo-Imperialism in Africa: Perception or Reality?

 Republished from CIGH Exeter, March 2, 2017. China the Victim: The imperial powers carving up China. Tom Harper University of Surrey Where once China sought communist revolution, it now seeks global economic expansion. As a result, the African continent has been one of the major areas of Chinese foreign economic investment. Numerous studies of China’s Africa policy have appeared in recent years, a number of which accuse China of exploiting resource rich African states or behaving like an imperial power in the continent, most notably Peter Hitchens’s assertion that China is building a ‘slave empire’ in Africa [1]. These views on Chinese policy also reflect the changes in the perceptions of China in the Western mind. The crude stereotypes of the Yellow Peril that dominated Western culture in the late 19th and early 20th centuries have given way to a fear that China will follow in the West’s imperial footsteps. In other words, the legacy of imperialism underpins today’s perceptions of China’s foreign policy as well as Chinese identity. Chinese engagement in Africa illuminates the influence of the imperial experience. The initial form of Chinese policy in Africa came as ideological and military assistance to the various anti-colonial movements of the […]

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