You are here

Alex Dubb

Student Focus:

Small-scale farming, commodity chain regulation and governance, economic development and structural inequality


Alex Dubb joined PLAAS in 2010 as a research assistant while pursuing his MPhil (research), both within the DST/NRF research programme. His study focused on the patterns of inequality and dynamics of social differentiation among small-scale sugarcane farmers in two rural wards near Mtubatuba in KwaZulu-Natal. The study places a strong emphasis on the shifting material and political foundations of small-grower incorporation into the industry, particularly in regard to regulatory and structural changes since the 1990s. In continuity with insights from this study, he is currently engaged in collaborative research Southern African Sugar Research Network (SSRN), focusing on the expansion of sugar in Southern Africa more broadly.

Alex has a particular emerging interest in commodity-chain dynamics, their structural implications and possibilities to enhance small enterprise development and employment.


MPhil (Research) (Cum Laude) from PLAAS, UWC


  1. Dubb, A., 2015b. The Rise and Decline of Small-Scale Sugarcane Production in South Africa: A Historical Perspective. Journal of Agrarian Change n/a–n/a. doi:10.1111/joac.12107
  2. Dubb, A., 2015c. Dynamics of decline in small-scale sugarcane production in South Africa: Evidence from two “rural” wards in the Umfolozi region. Land Use Policy 48, 362–376. doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2015.06.029
  3. Cousins, B., Hall, R., Dubb, A., 2014. The Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Act of 2014 - What are the real implications of reopening land claims? (Policy Brief No. 34). Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town.
  4. Dubb, A., 2014. The dynamics of decline of small-scale sugarcane production in South Africa: Evidence from two “rural” wards in the Umfolozi region (Working Paper No. 29). Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, Cape Town.
  5. Dubb, A. 2013. “The rise and decline of small-scale sugarcane production in South Africa: A historical perspective”, Working Paper 28. PLAAS, UWC: Bellville.
  6. Dubb, A. 2013. Dynamics of Social Reproduction and Differentiation among Small-Scale Sugarcane Farmers in Two Rural Wards of KwaZulu-Natal. Mphil Thesis. PLAAS, UWC: Bellville.
  7. Dubb, A. 2012. “Social reproduction, accumulation and class differentiation: Small-scale sugarcane growers in Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa”, Working Paper 25. PLAAS, UWC: Bellville.
  8. Dubb, A. 2012. “Dynamics of Agrarian Change in the Sugar Industry and Implications for Land and Agrarian Reform”. Paper presented at “Towards Carnegie III: Strategies to Overcome Poverty & Inequality”, University of Cape Town, 3 – 7 September 2012.