Adoption du palmier à huile en Côte d’Ivoire
Adoption of oil palm in Côte d’Ivoire
Au cours des années 70 et 80, et en dépit de problèmes fonciers, l’effort de l’État ivoirien pour promouvoir les cultures du palmier et de l’hévéa à travers des projets et des sociétés d’encadrement spécialisées a connu un succès certain [1-5]. Un des intérêts de ces formes d’investissements a été d’apporter du crédit et de l’information aux planteurs, notamment sous forme de matériel végétal, d’engrais et d’encadrement technique. Dans le cas de la filière palmier, information, capital et disponibilité en matériel végétal ont été des facteurs essentiels à l’adoption de cette « nouvelle » culture pérenne.
Two government-sponsored programmes in 1963-1984 and 1985-1990 played a major role for promoting oil palm as a diversification crop in Côte d’Ivoire, the agriculture of which is mostly based on cocoa and coffee. The main role of these projects was to bring information, planting material and capital through credit schemes. Part of these resources had been captured by government and extension staff who set up large oil palm farms for themselves, usually at the expense of forest reserves. Nevertheless, thousands of farmer families also benefited information and credit schemes from these programmes. Then in the 1990s, government programmes were swept by liberalisation winds. It was feared that without information and capital brought by projects, the rate of oil palm adoption would sink. Surveys show the opposite trend. Since 1995, the rush to selected seeds and oil palm investments is still stronger than during the era of programmes providing seeds on a credit base. Many farmers could find a way to overcome capital constraints. Another factor of adoption is the exhaustion of the forest rent and replanting difficulties faced by cocoa farmers. It is easier to replant oil palm after ageing cocoa and coffee farms. Regular and monthly revenues of oil palm also prove to be quite attractive compare to cocoa. The drop of cocoa and coffee prices from 1988 to 1993 while that of oil palm was relatively sustained also encouraged the process. Eventually, the opportunity to get a return from palm wine (widely consumed in West-Africa) after cutting down the palm tree is also aknowledged by farmers as a strong incentive to adopt the tree crop. Oil palm looks like an ideal saving tool and patrimony, ready to be used when farmers face an urgent need of cash.
Key words: oil palm / tree crop / diversification / replanting / credit / forest rent / selected seed / comparative prices / palm wine / Côte d’Ivoire
© John Libbey Eurotext 2000