Terug naar het overzicht

Debate rages over intensive oil palm farming in Gabon

01 / 11 / 2019, Mongabaycom News

Nearly 88 percent of Gabon is covered in forests. As the country seeks to diversify its economy, including developing agriculture and commercial plantations, can it continue to protect this important resource for local communities and biodiversity? Numerous NGOs are worried by the industrial cultivation of oil palm by the multinational Olam and have launched a campaign to raise the government’s awareness of the risks plantations pose to communities and the environment. In 2015, under the framework of a programme called  GRAINE (Gabonaise des réalisations agricoles et des initiatives des nationaux engagés – Gabonese Initiative for Achieving Agricultural Outcomes with an Engaged Citizenry), the Gabonese authorities formed a public-private partnership with the firm Olam Palm Gabon for the development of a tract spanning 58,500 hectares (144,600 acres). The company, known as Société gabonaise de transformation agricole et développement durable (SOTRADER – Gabonese Company for Agricultural Transformation and Sustainable Development) set up operations in Ndendé, in Ngounié province. People living in the area, in the villages of Ferra and Nanga, had initially welcomed the project in light of their precarious economic situation. But now they are accusing the company of running a counter-productive policy. These communities want to continue to enjoy their traditional rights to use the forest for farming and harvesting, and to ensure their food sovereignty. Added to this is anger among dissatisfied young people in these villages, who are critical of the insecurity of the jobs the company has created. “The average agricultural worker’s salary, which fluctuates between 100,00…This article was originally published on Mongabay

Naar artikel