Palms of controversies: oil palm and development challenges

Rival Alain, Levang Patrice. 2014. Palms of controversies: oil palm and development challenges. Jakarta : CIFOR, 58 p. ISBN 978-602-1504-41-3

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Abstract : The rapid development of oil palm cultivation feeds many social issues such as biodiversity, deforestation, food habits or ethical investments. How can this palm be viewed as a 'miracle plant' by both the agro-food industry in the North and farmers in the tropical zone, but a serious ecological threat by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) campaigning for the environment or rights of local indigenous peoples? In the present book the authors - a biologist and an agricultural economist- describe a global and complex tropical sector, for which the interests of the many different stakeholders are often antagonistic. Oil palm has become emblematic of recent changes in North-South relationship in agricultural development. Indeed, palm oil is produced and consumed in the South; its trade is driven by emerging countries, although the major part of its transformations is made in the North that still hosts the largest multinational agro industries. It is also in the North that the sector is challenged on ethical and environmental issues. Public controversy over palm oil is often opinionated and it is fed by definitive and sometimes exaggerated statements. Researchers are conveying a more nuanced speech, which is supported by scientific data and a shared field experience. Their work helps in building a more balanced view, moving attention to the South, the region of exclusive production and major consumption of palm oil. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés Agrovoc : Elaeis guineensis, Huile de palme, Politique de développement, Nutrition humaine, Impact sur l'environnement, Développement durable, Agro-industrie, Teneur en lipides, Acide gras insaturé, Acide gras saturé, Agroforesterie, Valeur nutritive

Mots-clés géographiques Agrovoc : Afrique, Asie du Sud-Est, Monde

Mots-clés complémentaires : Filière agro-alimentaire

Classification Agris : F01 - Crops
S01 - Human nutrition - General aspects
E14 - Development economics and policies
E21 - Agro-industry
Q04 - Food composition
F08 - Cropping patterns and systems

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 1 (2014-2018) - Agriculture écologiquement intensive

Auteurs et affiliations

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (

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