Development through Commodification: Exploring Apple Commodity Production as Pesticide Promotion in the High Atlas

Global development initiatives frequently promote agricultural commodity chain projects to improve livelihoods. In Morocco, development projects, including the Plan Maroc Vert (PMV), have promoted apple production in rural regions of the country. In order to access domestic markets, these new apple producers often use pesticides to meet market standards. Through situated ethnographic inquiry and commodity chain analysis, using a combination of surveys (n=120) and interviews (n=84) with apple wholesalers, government officials, along with farmers, this paper works to critique the PMV’s development approach that implicitly values commodification. By exploring interconnected processes of commodification, I link subsidized apple saplings and cold storage infrastructure to the dependence on pesticide usage, which has become a part of daily village life. This has important implications for community health and riparian ecosystems. Alternatively, I propose how we can imagine different development trajectories that decommodify livelihoods by focusing on local knowledge creation and diversification strategies.

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Work Title Development through Commodification: Exploring Apple Commodity Production as Pesticide Promotion in the High Atlas
Access
Open Access
Creators
  1. Zachary Goldberg
Keyword
  1. Pesticides
  2. Commodification
  3. Green Revolution
  4. Plan Maroc Vert
  5. Morocco
License CC BY 4.0 (Attribution)
Work Type Article
Acknowledgments
  1. I would first like to thank the mentors who made this work possible: Bronwen Powell, Abderrahim Ouarghidi, and Yossef Ben-Meir, along with support from Hassan Akorsal, Fatima Zahra Laaribi, Cameron Franz, Mouaad Mouaad, Errachid Montassir, and many more. Thank you to Penn State’s Center for Landscape Dynamics, African Research Center, and the Geography Department for generously funding this research. Thank you to Karl Zimmerer, Ruchi Patel, Robert Chiles, Megan Baumann, Saumya Vaishnava, Sara Cavallo, Ramzi Tubbeh, and Karan Misquitta for helpful comments on my manuscript. I am also grateful for presenting this work and learning from scholars at Pesticide Politics in Africa conference in Arusha, Tanzania in 2019. Finally, I share my deepest gratitude with the people of Tifnout.
Publisher
  1. Springer
Publication Date October 21, 2021
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
  1. 10.1007/s10460-021-10280-4
Geographic Area
  1. North Africa
Deposited November 18, 2021

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  • Updated Acknowledgments Show Changes
    Acknowledgments
    • I would first like to thank the mentors who made this work possible: Bronwen Powell, Abderrahim Ouarghidi, and Yossef Ben-Meir, along with support from Hassan Akorsal, Fatima Zahra Laaribi, Cameron Franz, Mouaad Mouaad, Errachid Montassir, and many more. Thank you to Penn State’s Center for Landscape Dynamics, African Research Center, and the Geography Department for generously funding this research. Thank you to Karl Zimmerer, Ruchi Patel, Robert Chiles, Megan Baumann, Saumya Vaishnava, Sara Cavallo, Ramzi Tubbeh, and Karan Misquitta for helpful comments on my manuscript. I am also grateful for presenting this work and learning from scholars at Pesticide Politics in Africa conference in Arusha, Tanzania in 2019. Finally, I share my deepest gratitude with the people of Tifnout.
  • Added Creator Zachary Goldberg
  • Added Development through Commodification_Accepted_Manuscript_10_18_21.pdf
  • Updated License Show Changes
    License
    • https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
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