Assembling Export Markets. The Making and Unmaking of Global Food Connections in West Africa. RGS–IBG Book Series

  • ID: 2882975
  • Book
  • Region: Global, Africa
  • 264 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Assembling Export Markets explores the origins of global agrifood chains through an examination of the new frontier regions of the global fresh produce market that has emerged in the West African Republic of Ghana over the past decade. Building on an organizational ethnography of two large agribusiness enterprises which have contracted local farmers for export production, author Stefan Ouma demonstrates that what is commonly naturalized as market integration in contemporary development discourses is, in actuality, a frictional and ontologically transformative process. Through original research on organizational strategies and everyday market encounters between agribusiness enterprises and farmers in southern and northern Ghana, Ouma reveals that the practical enactment and local engagement of seemingly universal forces must be considered to understand the ongoing extension of global market relations. Innovative and ground–breaking, Assembling Export Markets sheds important new light on our understanding of the origins, evolution and crisis moments of global agrifood connections.

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Series Editors Preface viii

Preface ix

Technical Remarks xi

List of Figures xii

List of Tables xiii

Abbreviations xiv

1 Introduction: Struggling with World Market Integration 1

Rethinking Global Connections 6

Grounding Commodity Chains: Geographies of Marketization 9

Matters of Concern 14

The Practical Means of Marketization 15

Marketization as Proliferation 16

Of Frontier Regions and Borderlands 16

How This Book Unfolds 17

2 Querying Marketization 21

Studying Markets as Practical Accomplishments 23

Markets as Sociotechnical Agencements 25

Problems of Market ]Making 29

Exchanging Goods the Right Way 31

Qualified Objectifications 32

Detachment/Calculation 35

Singularizations 36

Knowing and Doing Markets 37

From Market Knowledge to Knowing Markets 38

Power in/through Markets 39

Formatting Market Encounters 42

The Order(ing) of Markets 44

Conclusion 49

3 Remaking the Economy : Taking Ghanaian Horticulture to Global Markets 53

Models of Organizing the Economy : From Macro to Micro 56

A Tale of Two Frontiers 59

Markets for Development: Organic Mangoes in Northern Ghana 60

Fresh from Farm: JIT Pineapple Markets 66

Sites of Attention 71

Conclusion 74

4 Critical Ethnographies of Marketization 77

Researching Markets in the Making 79

Outside/Inside the Market 81

Reconstructing Market Practices 85

Technicalities? 86

Knowledge Production: Heuristics and Limitations 88

After the Field : Veni, Vidi, Vici? 90

Conclusion 92

5 The Birth of Global Agrifood Market Connections 94

Nothing Was Packaged for (High ]value) Export 97

Market Enrollment, Not Integration 98

The Messy Economics of Outgrowing 107

Market ]making as Boundary Work 108

Outflanking Nature? 113

The Terms of World Market Enrollment 115

Good(s) Connect(ions) 119

Having the Right Product 121

Performing the Audit Economy 122

Relational Properties of Competition 123

Ongoing Struggles for Retail Worth 124

The Orderings of JIT 125

Conclusion 126

6 Enacting Global Connections: The Making of World Market Agencies 131

Qualculating the Mango Tree 133

Indeterminate Framings of Worth 133

Struggling for the Agricola Oeconomicus 137

Responsibilizing/Autonomizing Farmers 140

Standardizing Market STAs 141

Standards and the Stubborn Social 147

Value/Power 149

Conclusion 151

7 Markets, Materiality, and (Anti ])Political Encounters 153

The Hidden Conditions of Global Markets 155

Powerful Valorimeters 157

Pricing, Returns, and Visible hands 159

Power Relations as Relations of Accounting 162

Accounting: Frontstage 165

Accounting: Backstage 166

Conclusion 171

8 Market Crises: When Things Fall Apart, or Won t Come Together 174

A Model in Crisis 177

MD2 Takes Over the Market, or How Goods Become Delegitimated 178

Trading Down in Times of Crisis 183

Currency and Capital Volatilities 183

When the Supply Base Disenrolls 184

Reassembling the Market Social? 187

Recalcitrant Nature and the Crisis of the Developmental Market 189

(Mis ])calculating Nature and other Surprises: Mango Trees as Precarious Commodities 191

Crisis Accounts 193

Regrouping 196

The Corporate Calculus of the Crisis 197

Fixing Yields: Contested Pathways of Qualification 198

Conclusion 201

9 Conclusion 205

Beyond Inclusion 209

Market Modernity, Alternatives, Critique 212

Beyond Agrifood: Profanizing Marketization 213

References 215

Index 232

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Stefan Ouma is Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Geography at the Goethe University of Frankfurt. Being an economic geographer by training, he has worked extensively on global commodity chains, agrifood standards, smallholder agriculture, and contract farming in East and West Africa.

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