Industrial oil palm plantations are rapidly expanding, not only in Liberia. In many African countries expansion projects are happening and plans are announced. Everywhere they go, the companies promise jobs and development. Produced by the World Rainforest Movement. Interviews; Winnie Overbeek Edition; Flavio Pazos September 2013 Also available in Spanish: Palma en África. Voces desde las comunidades
Original version by Ricardo Carrere - updated by the WRM in 2013. Oil palm is a traditional native crop for West and Central African communities, who are used to either plant them on their lands or to collect fruits, leaves or sap from native palms to use them in their daily lives: from locally processing palm oil to be used in the household or sold in the local markets to producing palm wine. Oil palm is part of their culture.
Representatives of the CNCR member farmers' and producers' organizations, as well as other national platforms member of the ROPPA (Network of West-African Farmers' and Producers' Organizations), met from 20 to 22 November, 2012 in Dakar in the framework of the international forum "Family farms constitute the primary food and wealth suppliers in West Africa".
Oil palm and rubber plantations are very similar in many respects, but there is something that clearly differentiates them: oil palm is a native species in many West African countries –and part of the culture of local peoples- while rubber is clearly an alien species brought in by the Colonial powers. Oil palm and rubber plantations in Western and Central Africa: An Overview
For many years, fuelwood use and charcoal production have been blamed for deforestation throughout the South, though this has seldom been the truth. In the case of Senegal it is clearly false. Charcoal is a major energy source in this country, where its capital city Dakar consumes 90 per cent of all the charcoal produced from the forest. However, forests are not even close to exhaustion, and regeneration after woodcutting is reported to be quite robust.