IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/forpol/v101y2019icp45-61.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Safeguarding forests from smallholder oil palm expansion by more intensive production? The case of Ngwei forest (Cameroon)

Author

Listed:
  • Jaza Folefack, Achille Jean
  • Ngo Njiki, Marie Gaelle
  • Darr, Dietrich

Abstract

Cameroon currently produces 230,000 tons/year of palm oil making it the 3rd largest African and 13th largest global palm oil producer. The country's 193,860 ha of mostly non-industrial oil palm plantations, which are often characterized by archaic production methods, will likely expand significantly along with the anticipated increase of the annual palm oil production by 2025. Their continued expansion represents a threat to forest landscapes, wildlife biodiversity and the environment. Using the example of the Ngwei forest area, one of the hot spots of oil palm growing in Cameroon, this study evaluates the social welfare created by undertaking this activity and the land area that could be spared from deforestation through increasing productivity of non-industrial oil palm plantations. The field survey results indicated that, small-scale non-industrial producers used only between 1 and 30 percent of the inputs used by large-scale producers (skilled labour, mineral fertilizer, high-yield variety seedling, pesticide) and recorded only a quarter oil palm yield (5 tons of fresh fruit bunches per ha as compared to 19.3 tons/ha). The Cobb-Douglas production function showed a higher factor productivity for small-scale plantations. The baseline results from the non-linear programming model indicated a negative social welfare and revealed land and patch of traditional forest trees retained on farms as the most important production factors. Using the counterfactual of land sparing through non-industrial oil palm intensification as a reference scenario, the social welfare became positive and 75% of oil palm area could be reforested. The results also showed that a positive social welfare would be generated if a modest rebound effect occurred. However, as private and social benefits of intensified non-industrial oil palm cultivation exceeded the opportunity cost of forest conversion, improving the adoption of more productive inputs by farmers could prove to further increase pressure on the remaining primary forest areas. Hence, effective environmental governance and complementary policies will be essential in enforcing a reduction of oil palm area and the afforestation of abandoned lands.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaza Folefack, Achille Jean & Ngo Njiki, Marie Gaelle & Darr, Dietrich, 2019. "Safeguarding forests from smallholder oil palm expansion by more intensive production? The case of Ngwei forest (Cameroon)," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 45-61.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:forpol:v:101:y:2019:i:c:p:45-61
    DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2019.01.016
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1389934118304611
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kubitza, Christoph & Krishna, Vijesh V. & Urban, Kira & Alamsyah, Zulkifli & Qaim, Matin, 2018. "Land Property Rights, Agricultural Intensification, and Deforestation in Indonesia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 312-321.
    2. V. Bellassen & V. Gitz, 2008. "Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in Cameroon - Assessing costs and benefits," Post-Print hal-00716370, HAL.
    3. Nelson B. Villoria & Derek Byerlee & James Stevenson, 2014. "The Effects of Agricultural Technological Progress on Deforestation: What Do We Really Know?," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 36(2), pages 211-237.
    4. Hertel, Thomas, 2012. "Implications of Agricultural Productivity for Global Cropland Use and GHG Emissions: Borlaug vs. Jevons," GTAP Working Papers 4020, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
    5. Bou Dib, Jonida & Alamsyah, Zulkifli & Qaim, Matin, 2018. "Land-use change and income inequality in rural Indonesia," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 55-66.
    6. Miet Maertens & Manfred Zeller & Regina Birner, 2006. "Sustainable agricultural intensification in forest frontier areas," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 34(2), pages 197-206, March.
    7. Varkkey, Helena & Tyson, Adam & Choiruzzad, Shofwan Al Banna, 2018. "Palm oil intensification and expansion in Indonesia and Malaysia: Environmental and socio-political factors influencing policy," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 148-159.
    8. Michael Euler & Stefan Schwarze & Hermanto Siregar & Matin Qaim, 2016. "Oil Palm Expansion among Smallholder Farmers in Sumatra, Indonesia," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 658-676, September.
    9. Miyamoto, Motoe & Mohd Parid, Mamat & Noor Aini, Zakaria & Michinaka, Tetsuya, 2014. "Proximate and underlying causes of forest cover change in Peninsular Malaysia," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 18-25.
    10. Angelsen, Arild, 1999. "Agricultural expansion and deforestation: modelling the impact of population, market forces and property rights," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 185-218, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:forpol:v:101:y:2019:i:c:p:45-61. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/forpol .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.