Friday, 7 February 2014

Ivory Coast hopes to squeeze the profits from palm oil

The palm oil industry originated in West Africa but is now dominated by massive plantations in South-East Asia. The BBC's Tamasin Ford reports that Ivory Coast, and other African countries, are trying to take the lucrative business back home to tap into its profits.

An hour's drive to the west of Abidjan, Ivory Coast's skyscraper-filled commercial capital, palm trees dominate the landscape; thousands upon thousands of them in neat orderly rows.

People have renamed the long, sweeping highway "Plantation Road". Most of the land belongs to PALMCI, a subsidiary of SIFCA Group, an Ivorian company involved in palm oil, sugar and rubber production across West Africa.

But, as in Nigeria and Ghana, it is the smallholders in Ivory Coast, like Desire-Jacques Porquet, who produce most of the country's palm oil.

To read the rest of this article, please click on this link to the BBC website.

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