African-palm planters eye Peruvian Amazon


Marco Antonio del Águila reaches past the spiny branches of a palm tree, plucks a reddish-orange fruit and imagines a thriving African palm oil industry here, one with small-scale growers like him rehabilitating former agricultural land and someday supplying a local refinery. A day earlier, at a public forum, he promoted this model as an alternative to one that came in for heavy criticism at the session: a Peruvian company’s project that has involved clear cutting in another locality to accommodate a vast, 10,000-hectare (25,000-acre) African-palm plantation. “We’re not thinking about planting 10,000 hectares,” says del Águila, who heads a local association of small-scale palm growers. “I’m not in agreement with big economic monopolies.” Whether del Águila’s vision holds... [Log in to read more]

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