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Farming, corporate control, cash crops, and migration

Migration A–Z

F

  1. Tony Waters

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm220

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Waters, T. 2013. Farming, corporate control, cash crops, and migration. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

Abstract

Since the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, a huge number of the world's farms have come under the control of large landowners, many of them owned by corporations. These corporations make profits selling cash crops demanded by global markets in fruit, vegetables, grains, coffee, tea, fiber crops, and a host of other agricultural commodities. In the United States, such corporations are typically owned by a group of investors, or a family corporation. Each corporate farm typically specializes in a small number of crops – or even only one crop – in order to maximize production efficiency and cash profits. Such corporations are typically large enough to own expensive capital equipment, and also own enough land to make production profitable. To do this they often hire large seasonal agricultural labor forces that are paid wages to do the planting, weeding, pruning, harvesting, and other specialized agricultural tasks. Fruit trees, vegetable crops, and other commodities that require intensive semi-skilled labor to cultivate are most likely to require such migrant labor.

Keywords:

  • farming;
  • food;
  • capitalism;
  • labor;
  • poverty