How Indonesian Palm Oil Contributes to Economic Growth and Food Security in Indonesia and the World
Washington, DC – Efforts to restrict land conversion by environmental non-governmental organizations (NGO) and international institutions risk undermining economic growth in Indonesia and global food security, according to a new report released today by pro-development NGO World Growth. The report assesses the palm oil industry, addresses the benefits and challenges facing the industry, and examines the role the industry has played in Indonesia’s economic growth and development.
World Growth Chairman, and former Ambassador to and Chairman of the GATT (the predecessor to the World Trade Organization), Alan Oxley released the following statement:“There has been a sustained effort to limit the ability of developing countries to expand agriculture. It is driven by the wrong headed belief that freezing production of palm oil and other commodities enhances sustainability. The call is for measures which restrict and control trade and production of vital food stuffs. These are advanced by NGOs, some Western governments, international agencies, and even multinational corporations. It will just stall food production and undermine strategies to reduce poverty.“Consider the case of Indonesia. The palm oil industry supports directly and indirectly nearly 20 million Indonesians and produces exports worth over $US6.5 billion. Millions more in Indonesia and throughout the world will benefit from future development of oil palm plantations. With the world population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, and palm oil a food staple, the Indonesian palm oil industry should not be limited but encouraged to expand.“Nevertheless, NGOs continue to engage in smear campaigns against the industry, with misleading information about environmental impacts and efforts to obstruct development. Their ideological opposition to economic growth is dangerous for the poor and hungry.
“Even the World Bank, which acknowledges that agriculture development is three times more effective for achieving economic growth than any other sector, is weighing a policy to restrict financial support for expansion of palm oil in direct contravention of its anti-poverty mandate.
“Expansion of palm oil production will increase growth and reduce poverty in Indonesia and enhance global food security.”
Click here to read the report, The Economic Benefit of Palm Oil to Indonesia – English Version
Click here to read the report, The Economic Benefit of Palm Oil to Indonesia – Bahasa Version
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World Growth is a non-profit, non-governmental organization established to expand the research, information, advocacy, and other resources to improve the economic conditions and living standards in developing and transitional countries. At World Growth, we embrace the age of globalization and the power of free trade to eradicate poverty and create jobs and opportunities. World Growth supports the production of palm oil and the use of forestry as a means to promote economic growth, reduce poverty and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. World Growth believes a robust cultivation of palm oil and forestry provides an effective means of environmental stewardship that can serve as the catalyst for increasing social and economic development. For more information on World Growth, visit www.worldgrowth.org.