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Impacts and implications of oil palm on landscapes and livelihoods in Uganda’s Lake Victoria islands – an overview of recent research

Publication

Authors: R.Ssemmanda and M. Opige

Uganda - 2019

Language: English

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The Government of Uganda had the best intentions when oil palm was established. The aim was to reduce poverty among the Lake Victoria island populations of Kalangala and Buvuma districts, and contribute to import substitution through domestic production of palm oil. The project established plantations in Kalangala in 2002 with crude palm oil production starting in 2010, and plantations will begin to be established in Buvuma from 2019. The benefits are readily reported by the main donor IFAD and the sole company BIDCO, part of Oil Palm Uganda Ltd. partly owned by Wilmar. However, the project implementation strategy fell short on a number of aspects, leading to multiple negative impacts on the intended project beneficiaries as well as on the environment. It is thus crucial to acknowledge and better understand these impacts, mitigate them, and prevent their reoccurrence in the other suggested oil palm expansion hubs. This policy brief summarizes detailed interdisciplinary research undertaken in 2017 and 2018 on the negative impacts of oil palm development, and makes solid recommendation to the government and its implementing partners, based on the findings and lessons learned.  

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