Vegetables Without Borders

Timothy Raeymakers, an excellent scholar on all things Congolese, knows whats important about the DRC: the vegetables. In his most recent paper, The Central Margins: Congo’s Transborder Economy and State-Making in the Borderlands, Raeymakers historically contextualizes what might be the best ever corporation name, Vegetables Without Borders:

After the Mulelist rebellion in 1965-55, the region west of the Semliki saw the rise of various commercial middlemen, who specailized in channelig cash an food crops from the prodcuing preasants to the starving urban scentres of Butembo, Beni, and other eastern Congolese cities. In the Lubero highland, for example, a local company called ‘ Legume Sans Frontiers’ (Vegetables without Borders) would supply cabbages and onions from the highlands to the capital Kinshasa on a weekly basis.

Raeymakers’ article describes how historical and economic phenomenon in post-colonial Congo fashioned urban spaces in the borderland zones of the Eastern DRC. And, ultimately, how these forces ensured that vegetables have no borders. His paper is a great read.

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