African Case Study: Palm Oil and Economic Development in Nigeria and Ghana; Recommendations for the World Bank’s 2010 Palm Oil Strategy
by Thompson Ayodele (Initiative for Public Policy Analysis) Forward by Dr. Matthew O. Eshalomi: Growth and prosperity of an economy are central to the longterm reduction in poverty for both economic and environmental sustainability. Palm oil and palm oil manufacturing represents one of the most effective methods of raising Nigerians from poverty and ensuring food security. It provides employment for millions of unskilled and semi-skilled workers.
The following paper is a unique survey of palm oil production in Nigeria and its impact on poverty reduction, economic diversification and the environment.
In my experience as Chairman of the Edible Oil Processors Section of the Manufacturer Association of Nigeria, it has become clear to me that local capacity of palm oil production in Nigeria must be developed in order to ensure local food security and the potential for future exports.
Nigeria is a net importer of palm oil. It does not produce enough palm oil to meet local demand.
The World Bank Review of palm oil financing must be developed with poverty reduction as the single aim. Policies which restrict effective poverty alleviating investment on environmental or social grounds necessarily diminish poverty reduction.
It is my hope that the following paper will go some way in painting the picture of palm oil development and highlight the potentials of the Nigerian economy.
It is my opinion that undue weight has been placed on environmental outcomes by an organisation whose primary mission is poverty reduction, particularly when sovereign nations have so far been unable to reach international agreement in the UNFCCC.
From the vantage point of secondary industry in a developing nation, I urge the World Bank to invest further in palm oil as a highly effective tool of poverty reduction and economic diversification.
I also urge the World Bank to engage industry in developing nations rather than imposing restrictive investment policies which have the potential to alienate those most in need. Download Study