APRA Working Paper 85: In the Shadow of Industrial Companies: Class and Spatial Dynamics of Artisanal Palm Oil Processing in Rural Ghana

Written by: Gertrude Dzifa Torvikey and Fred Mawunyo Dzanku

This paper is concerned with the multiple opportunities and challenges of artisanal palm oil processing and the potential multiplier effects on local economies. It examines the effect of the presence of large oil palm plantations and their industrial processing mills on artisanal palm oil processing in two districts in the Western region of Ghana. Although artisanal and industrial processors have co-existed for a long time in the same catchment areas, little is known about the impact of this relationship on artisanal processing. Acknowledging the importance of rural diversity, complexity, and difference in agriculture-based off-farm activities, this paper also examines the effect of community and household level factors on palm oil processing incidence and intensity as well as the impact of processing on food (in)security.

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