Smallholders in agro-industrial production: Lessons for rural development from a comparative analysis of Ghana’s and Indonesia’s oil palm sectors

Anette Ruml*, Daniel Chrisendo, Abdul Malik Iddrisu, Alhassan A. Karakara, Nunung Nuryartono, Evan Osabuohien, Jann Lay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
144 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

By successfully including smallholders, the oil palm boom in Southeast Asia has contributed significantly to rural economic development and poverty alleviation, notwithstanding its huge environmental costs. Oil palm production in other world regions is currently picking up, including in Africa. Yet it is uncertain whether the positive socioeconomic impacts from Southeast Asia can be replicated elsewhere. Little development gain may thus accompany severe environmental harm if oil palm expansion leads to deforestation. To shed light on the (prospective) role of oil palm for rural development we perform a systematic comparison of Ghana’s and Indonesia’s oil palm sectors at the macro and micro level, focusing on smallholder inclusion and using a mixed-methods approach. We identify substantial differences in structural conditions and policy foci that have led to two very different oil palm sectors. While the Indonesian experience clearly highlights the development opportunities coming with smallholder inclusion in agro-industrial production, our analysis shows that transferability to the West African context is limited due to regional specificities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106196
Number of pages14
JournalLand Use Policy
Volume119
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Oil palm
  • Rural development
  • Cross-country comparison
  • Mixed methods

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