Grower profiles

Jacques has a 57-hectares oil palm plantation in eastern Côte d’Ivoire

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Not far from the Ehania agroindustrial unit (10,000 hectares of plantations and factories) near the Ghanaian border.

Jacques also grows basic foodstuffs to feed his family and relatives, as well as yams that he sells at the local market.

He owns a two-story house with outbuildings in the village of Maféré.
He has six children ranging in age from 11 to 38, all of whom have gone or are going to school.

He is Baoulé, a grower and son of a grower, and was trained as a plantation assistant in La Mé, which was the site of the Institut de Recherche sur les Huiles et oléagineux (Institute for Research on Oils and Oilseeds) in Côte d’Ivoire (the IRHO, since renamed the CIRAD). In the 1980s, he worked as a phytosanitary trainer to outgrowers working with SODEPALM (the leading major agroindustrial oil palm company at the time).

He estimates his annual income at 16,000,000 F CFA, or €2,050 euros a month.

Mr. Ahmad Bin Hj Sidek, a 57-year-old Malaysian, has been cultivating oil palms for 26 years.

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In the 1980s, the Malaysian government invested a great deal of research and funding in oil palms. Believing that such an investment must be the source of great potential, Mr. Ahmad Bin Hj Sidek, a coconut and cocoa farmer, choses to convert his activity to cultivating oil palms. He quickly came to understand the advantages of this crop: The very nature of the tree, its yield, and the widely-spaced planting cycles have provided him with regular income, making long-term stability possible for the whole family.

With his five-hectare plantation, Mr. Ahmad Bin Hj Sidek has a monthly income of 3,500 Malaysian Ringgit (RM), or nearly €800.

These revenues mean that his four children, ages 13 to 34, received a good education and can, or have already been able to, pursue their studies to the university level. For the most part, they have studied food industry management. For Mr. Ahmad, oil palms have become a family business.