1412-1411 Planet Palm Oil


The GRAIN association has published a new report on the global production of palm oil which has increased dramatically in recent years. Palm oil, being cheap and plentiful, is used by companies in many food products.


To meet the demand for processed food and biofuels, major palm oil producers have turned to Africa as in Asia, particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia, it is becoming more difficult to establish monoculture plantations. Palm oil production in developing countries is associated with deforestation, exploitation of plantation workers and seizure of land held by local communities.


GRAIN reckons that in the past 15 years about 4 million hectares of agricultural land have been acquired for the production of palm oil by foreign companies in West and Central Africa. This often involves land used by indigenous peoples or occupied by tropical forests. As a result, numerous local communities have been displaced, losing both their farmland and their homes.


The report also highlights the traditional production in Africa of palm oil that is used in vegetable oils, wine and medicines. These provide an important income for the people, especially the women. However, this traditional production is under pressure from the multinational corporations on the continent and their expanding appetite for land.


Source: GRAIN


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