Côte d'Ivoire

Famous for cocoa- and coffee-growing, Côte d’Ivoire is also one of Africa’s leading producers of palm oil and rubber.

  • Palm oil

Palm oil is an essential ingredient in Ivorian cuisine and is mainly consumed in refined form. It also represents a significant source of wealth for the population: the income of 2 million people depends on this sector today.

In the 1960s, Côte d’Ivoire, which was keen to diversify its production, decided to develop the oil palm sector. Its objective was to ensure the country’s self-sufficiency with regard to fat and to go on to generate a surplus for the foreign market. With this in view, two sectoral development programmes were implemented: the first from 1963 to 1985 and the second from 1985 to 1995.

Currently, Côte d’Ivoire is the second largest producer of palm oil in Africa and is fully able to meet its domestic needs. Under its third Palm Plan, the country aims to double its output by 2020 by:
- promoting smallholder production; and
- improving the competitiveness of existing businesses.

Since 2012, the country’s agro-industrial companies, supported by the central government, have been working together to implement the eight Principles and 39 Criteria of the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil).

  • Rubber

Rubber cultivation in Côte d’Ivoire began in the 1950s on the initiative of private organisations. It was only in 1970 that rubber began to be cultivated at family level, thanks to the support of the Ivorian government: seven consecutive programmes for the development of the rubber industry have been run in Côte d’Ivoire to support smallholders.

Today, the country is Africa’s leading rubber exporter, and more than 70% of its output comes from smallholdings.

In Côte d’Ivoire, smallholder rubber cultivation has shown dynamism, and is seen as a means of ensuring a permanent, long-term income. In addition, rubber cultivation enables pure green energy to be produced: natural rubber can replace synthetic rubber (a petroleum distillation product) and represents a significant carbon sink.

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