Assessing the costs of tenure risks to agribusiness | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
February 2019
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

This report on the state of industrial oil palm plantations in West and Central Africa shows how communities are turning the tide on a massive land grab in the region. Between 2000 and 2015 companies signed oil palm plantation concession agreements with African governments covering over 4.7 million hectares;mostly without the knowledge of the affected communities. These companies are now struggling. There has been a significant decline in the number and total area of land deals for industrial oil palm plantations over the past five years;from 4.7 to a little over 2.7 million hectares. Only 220,608 hectares has been converted to oil palm plantations or been replanted with new palms during the past decade. Struggles by communities to defend their lands has been key to slowing this expansion. The report highlights how small-scale systems of oil palm cultivation are thriving across Africa while the corporate model is failing;and calls for an immediate ban on all future large-scale oil palm plantation projects and a halt to those currently being implemented. Where large-scale plantations already exist;the report calls for the lands to be returned to the control of the local communities.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Anna Locke;Lou Munden;Joseph Feyertag & Benedick Bowie


The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is the UK's leading independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues.


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Mokoro is pleased to host the ’Land Rights in Africa’ site as a contribution to the land rights dialogue and related debates. This website was created in January 2000 by Robin Palmer, and was originally housed by Oxfam GB, where Robin worked as a Land Rights Adviser. A library of resources on land rights in Africa – with a particular focus on women’s land rights and on the impact of land grabbing in Africa – the portal has been well received by practitioners, researchers and policy makers, and has grown considerably over the years.

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