Volume 16, Number 4-5-6, Juillet-Décembre 2009Lipides tropicaux (Actes des Journées Chevreul de l'AFECG 2009)
|Page(s)||276 - 279|
|Section||Économie – Développement|
|Published online||15 July 2009|
Socioéconomie des oléagineux en Afrique
23 Grand Rue, 34920
Le Cres, France
Africa lost, over the years, its dominant rank on the international market of oilseeds, enhancing some asian giants such as Indonesia and Malesia which have been establishing large industrial plantations since the seventies. This must not lead to ignore the fact that, in African countries which produce them, oilseeds play a paramount socio-economic role. Oil plants are, most of the time, cultivated in family farms and participate in the survival, thus the maintenance, of the farmers on their croplands. In some cases, they are the only source of cash income in an agricultural system of almost selfsubsistence. In recent years, cultivation of oilseeds has become a more profitable activity, unlike coffee and cocoa whose prices keeps decreasing. Therefore, the renewed interest of farmers to them is consequent, particularly to the most important of them, which is the oil palm, mainly grown in Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Nigeria. Saturation of croplands in Asia gives real opportunities of development in Africa, provided that the environmental issue must be considered (deforestation, monoculture…). Cottonseed oil, rather unknown in Europa, also becomes very important because of its cheapness and its high rate of consumption as edible oil in producing countries. Groundnut’s situation is more concerning: a hard crisis hits thousands of Senegalese farmers in areas of high poverty. Shea butter is special as a product because it is not cultivable. It is harvested only on wild trees with all the provided uncertainties. The demand for this product is strong in the industrialised countries because of its cosmetic features. Finally, Africa is also exploited for the production of biodiesels. The issue is complicated and, after a first period of craze, some countries start to reduce their claims in this field. Demand for oils keeps increasing: will Africa be able to benefit from that strongly increased demand, and under what conditions? Organisation of chain, investment, competitiveness, access to the markets… are all determining features.
Key words: Africa / oilseeds / palmoil / cottonseeds / groundnut / shea butter / biodiesels
© John Libbey Eurotext 2009
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