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How has our rising palm oil consumption affected the communities where it comes from?

How has our rising palm oil consumption affected the communities where it comes from?
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Banque Mondiale 5 December 2016

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The most important questions surrounding the tropical oil crops boom involve managing complex economic—environmental trade-offs, yet there is surprisingly little systematic evidence on how the global palm oil boom has affected welfare in rural communities across the developing world where it is grown. This paper asks whether the world’s largest modern plantation-based agricultural expansion—that of palm oil in Indonesia—has been pro-poor. It offers two contributions: it sheds new light on the poverty elasticity of plantation-based cash crop production and provide new evidence for a salient policy debate on palm oil across the developing world, where the welfare impacts of tropical oil crops are typically neglected in debates that, often for good reason, tend to focus on environmental issues.


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