Palm Oil and Food Security: The Impediment of Land Supply; How Environmentalists and “No Conversion” are Inflating Food Prices

December 2010 – A study by World Growth

Over the past three decades, the price of palm oil in real terms has fallen by around 1 percent per annum, which represents a major improvement in food security for consuming countries. If palm oil had not been grown commercially, its land would have been reallocated to alternative uses but less vegetable oil would have been produced, other things being equal. The real price of the vegetable oils would have risen and food security would have suffered, particularly in Asia and Africa. An examination of the “no conversion” position in relation to palm oil makes it clear that attempts to restrict future land conversion and as a result, the expansion of high yielding food crops such as palm oil will have a highly detrimental impact on future food security. This paper addresses the issue of global food security and the important role that palm oil plays in enhancing food security, both for those who are involved in producing palm oil as well as those who rely on it as a food staple for their daily diet.

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