Papua New Guinea

Palm Oil is the cash crop with the greatest economic importance to Papua New Guinea, directly supporting about 20,000 small-holder families and six large companies and bringing in increasing export earnings ($264 million in 2006). Company plantations achieve yields of 20-35 tones of fresh fruit bunch per hectare annually. However smallholders, who control half of the area cultivated, on average achieve only about half of this yield. Improvement in smallholder productivity will have huge economic and social benefits through enhancing rural incomes and social advancement. Developing practical ways to improve smallholder production is a national research and development priority.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo)

Current palm oil production in DR Congo stands at around 240,000 metric tons, while demand is expected to grow to 465,000 metric tons in 2010 and 540,000 metric tons in 2015. Gas and diesel imports to DR Congo were 251,000 metric tons in 2006 according to the IEA, suggesting that biodiesel production from palm oil could meet the country's entire demand for diesel and palm oil.

DR Congo was the world's second largest palm oil producer in the 1960s but years of economic decline have left it as a minor producer.

Sierra Leone

Palm is a tree that is native to the wetlands in Western Africa and was produced and used long before scientists began to look at the viability of biofuels as an alternative to fossil fuels. The people of Sierra Leone, a West African country with miles of wetlands where oil palm trees flourish, have long used palm oil in their diet, and it is a staple in many native recipes. The beta-carotene levels in palm oil ensure plenty of Vitamin A consumption, which is necessary for eye and bone health, as well as for a strong immune system. Sierra Leone’s economy is agriculturally based, and palm kernels, the part of oil palm that produces oil, and palm oil itself are among Sierra Leone’s main cash crops and the country’s top exports.


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