APRA Brief 29: Achieving Inclusive Oil Palm Commercialisation in Ghana
Written by: Fred Dzanku and Louis Hodey
Oil palm is the most important export crop in Ghana, aside from cocoa. Compared with cocoa, however, oil palm has a more extensive local value chain, including greater opportunity for local industrial and artisanal processing into palm oil and other products, which creates a high potential for employment generation and poverty reduction; as a result oil palm is classified as a priority crop. The selection of oil palm as a priority crop aims to promote agricultural commercialisation through domestic agroindustry development and exports. In spite of this, the oil palm economy has still not achieved its potential, and this begs the question, why? Although it is known in general that commercialisation potential and its benefits are not equally distributed across groups, it is not clear how and why different subgroups (women, men, youth) might benefit differently from the oil palm economy. This brief addresses why different groups of smallholders (women, men, youth) benefit unequally from oil palm value chains, and how returns to oil palm production and marketing could become more inclusive.