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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'We Have Always Planted, But the Difficulty Has Been in Getting the Cane Crushed'. Sugar Cane Production at Umvoti Mission Reserve From 1860 to 1882
Author:Khumalo, Cyrius V.
Periodical:Journal of Natal and Zulu History
Geographic terms:South Africa
Great Britain
History and Exploration
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Development and Technology
Abstract:From the second half of the 19th century sugarcane was the key staple product at Umvoti mission station in Umvoti reserve in Natal (South Africa). It transformed the mission residents from a motley collection of Mfecane-era transients into market-oriented farmers. The Umvoti residents did not simply grow sugarcane, they also milled and marketed it, and in 1861 they established the Umvoti Sugar Mill in a joint venture with the colonial government.This article describes 20 years of sugarcane industry at Umvoti, paying close attention to how the black farmers, the white farmers, the missionaries and, in particular, the colonial government interpreted their own circumstances and why they acted the way they did. Following the boom of the 1860s, the mill was surrounded by controversies and fell into increasing disrepair. In 1881 a deep recession hit the region and the government, strapped for revenue, finally decided to lease the mill to the Umvoti planters. Notes, ref.