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This book considers commercial agriculture in Africa in relation to the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the institution of slavery within Africa itself, from the beginnings of Afro-European maritime trade in the fifteenth century to the early stages of colonial rule in the twentieth century. For Europeans, the export of agricultural produce represented a potential alternative to the slave trade from the outset and there was recurrent interest in establishing plantations in Africa or in purchasing crops from African producers. This idea gained greater currency in the context of the movement for the abolition of the slave trade from the late eighteenth century onwards, when the promotion of commercial agriculture in Africa was seen as a means of suppressing the slave trade.Robin Law is Emeritus Professor of African History, University of Stirling; Suzanne Schwarz is Professor of History, University ofWorcester; Silke Strickrodt is a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of African Studies and Anthropology at the University of Birmingham.