Palm oil plantation perpetuates poverty

20 November 2009

A study by NGO Rainforest Action Network of a World Bank-funded oil palm plantation in Papua New Guinea (PNG) reports violations of Bank performance standards. The Bank funded the plantations of agribusiness giant Cargill, with no record of a consultation process. Among the concerns raised is the Bank’s support, through start-up loans, of a ‘price taker’ system that pushes costs of production such as seeds, pesticides and transport, onto the smallholders. CELCOR, a non-profit law group in PNG, says farmers are victims of “structural injustices by transnational corporations such as Cargill”, that entrap them “in vicious cycles of debts to the milling companies.”