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Global Production Networks and Regional Development - A case study of the cinnamon industry in Karandeniya and Matale, Sri Lanka-

Authors: EUNYEONG SONG*, Seoul National University
Topics: Development, Asia, Regional Geography
Keywords: Cinnamon, Global Production Networks, GPN, Sri Lanka, Regional development, South Asia, spice, food, agriculture
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The purpose of this research is to capture the dynamics of Sri Lankan cinnamon industry which has enjoying cinnamon boom by analyzing the case of the cinnamon industry in the Karandeniya, a traditional cultivating hub, and Matale, a region new to cinnamon cultivation of Sri Lanka, deploying a Global Production Networks (GPN) framework inclusive of regional development considerations.
In a few years, Sri Lankan cinnamon industry has been enjoying a boom. According to data supplied by the Sri Lankan Export Development Board, the Sri Lankan cinnamon industry has benefited from increasing demand for cinnamon globally, which had been accompanied by a rapid increase in prices. The prosperity associated with the Sri Lankan cinnamon industry is attracting more and more actors and changing each actor’s behavior and their effect on regional development. This research explores the cinnamon industries in the Karandeniya and Matale region vis-à-vis the GPN framework and regional development considerations. This unpacks the local environment, actor interaction, and resulting structural outcomes. Further, it unearths evidence of spatial switching in the cinnamon industry and its influence on both local actors and regional development.
As a result, this raises a pertinent question about the view of regional development as growth. More in line with the distributional view, this research argues for ‘regional development as well-being’, and a consideration of value distribution and equity for all actors within a given (agricultural) region resulting from strategic decoupling and recoupling.

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