Friday, March 13, 2015

[biofuelwatch] From Africa's Palms People & Power investigates the environmental consequences of palm oil plantations in equatorial Africa.

Thus it was, in 2010, that the Cameroonian government struck the outlines of a deal with a US-based enterprise called Herakles Farms, granting it exclusive use of a biodiversity hotspot in south-western Cameroon - an area covering 73,000 hectares of pristine forest and farmland - in which to start plantations. The company would benefit from some eye-wateringly generous tax breaks, but in return it promised to bring much needed development to the region - from jobs and schools, to hospitals and better roads.

But as revealed by this episode of People & Power, from filmmakers Hugh Hartford, Dan Boaden and reporter Nidhi Dutt, things did not quite turn out that way ...

Palm oil, the very crop Herakles Farms wants to grow on a massive scale, has been here for generations. It has sustained small-time farmers and provided a source of work and income in communities that have long had to fend for themselves. These farmers, known as "smallholders", have faithfully cultivated the local palm oil industry with few resources and little government assistance. They have been intimately involved with the history and tradition of a crop that originated in Africa long before Herakles Farms happened to discover it and its potential for massive profits.


Posted by: Betockvoices The Farmers <>


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Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass.

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