Plantation agriculture refers to commercial farming where cash crops are grown on a large scale specifically for sale.
Crops that are grown under plantation agriculture include; sugarcane, tea, sisal, coffee, pyrethrum, cloves, bananas, and oil palm.
The major plantations in East Africa include Kakira in Jinja for sugarcane, Lugazi (SCOUL) for sugarcane, Kasaku tea estate near Lugazi, Kericho tea estate, Mwea-Tebere for rice, Mumias for sugar, Kibimba (Tilda Uganda Limited) for rice, Kilombero for sugarcane and Morogoro sisal estate and Zanzibar clove estate.
The following are the Disadvantages of plantation agriculture
- It encourages rural-urban migration and its effects like unemployment, high crime rate, and slum development.
- It leads to the displacement of people from their own land hence leaving many people landless.
- It has reduced the vegetation cover in East Africa leading to desertification e.g. clearing of Mabira forest by SCOUL.
- Monoculture practiced by farmers on plantations leads to soil exhaustion and erosion hence loss of soil fertility.
- They require large capital (capital intensive) yet the majority of people in East Africa are poor leading to foreign ownership.
- There is increased multiplication of pests and diseases due to monoculture on these plantations.
- Profit repatriation as most of the plantation farms is owned by foreigners leading to less local development.
Note: Out growers are farmers adjacent to plantations who grow similar crops as those grown on plantations and they therefore sell their crops to the plantation owners