Palm Oil industry in Ecuador: Good business for small farmers? [La industria del aceite de palma en Ecuador: un buen negocio para los pequenos agricultores?]

Lesley Potter

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Ecuador is the second largest producer in Latin America of crude palm oil and is the seventh largest producer worldwide, but with yields per hectare still lower than Colombia and Costa Rica. Although producers with over 1 000 hectares have the leadership in the palm oil industry, 87% of producers produce with less than 50 hectares. Moreover, the deforestation rate in Ecuador is ranked by FAO as the ninth highest in the world and the highest in South America. The African palm plantations have been criticized for causing deforestation and worsening work conditions. However, government sectors see the oil palm companies as a source of employment and development for poor regions. This fieldwork shows that there is a difference in perception among small farmers. Farmers from Quininde-La Concordia were satisfied with the income they earn and the rising prices of land planted with palm. Farmers in San Lorenzo, in contrast, are not happy since the survey shows that a disease devastated trees and as a result, land prices have fallen in San Lorenzo.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)39-54
    JournalEutopia
    Volume2
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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