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During the past two centuries the social history of rural java has been strongly conditioned by the dominant presence of agro-industrial sugar production. Sugar production on a large scale started in theb 1830s, when colonial officials and the entrepreneurs organized the commercial cultivation of cane on peasants’ lands and with peasant labour. But they also operated the sugar-mills as well as the export of sugar. Set up like a pseudo-platation system, the sugar industry represented the first major intrusion of foreign capital into the Javanese countryside.
Carte & Chris Fox