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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:African and European Cocoa Producers on Fernando Poo, 1880s to 1910s
Author:Clarence-Smith, W.G.ISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic terms:Bioko
international relations
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/183215
Abstract:The decline of the Creole planters of Fernando Po came later and was less severe than has sometimes been said, while the indigenous Bubi inhabitants played a far greater role in the development of the cocoa economy than has usually been acknowledged. Social discrimination against Creoles and Bubi was of little significance. The redirection of Fernandian exports to Spain from the 1890s had no negative effect on African producers, and Creoles and Spanish settlers united to fight tariff policies detrimental to their interests. Bubi suffered severely from land alienation, but they kept sufficient land to be able to participate fully in the cocoa boom. Creoles lost land through debt, but so did Spaniards. Black and white planters were united in every aspect of labour which involved relations with the authorities. Attempts to force poor Bubi into plantation labour collapsed quickly, and wealthy Bubi cultivators had little difficulty in finding labour to employ. Access to credit was equal for all landowners. The thesis of African decline becomes more plausible from the mid-1920s, due to Spanish immigration, the formation of joint-stock companies, and accentuated social discrimination. The roughly tripartite equilibrium between Bubi, Creole and European cocoa producers in the early 1910s contrasts with descriptions of other cocoa-growing areas in western Africa, suggesting the need for a reexamination of the evidence for the Creole role in cocoa cultivation in West-Africa. Ref., sum.