10 reasons palm oil is one of Africa’s most underrated crops yet the key to food security

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Hello everyone! It’s the Agric Teacher, this week we learned something about pest control, today, we shall look at one of the underrated crops that could potentially be the key to food security in Africa.


Have you ever heard of palm oil? It’s a type of vegetable oil that comes from the fruit of the oil palm tree. You might have seen it used for cooking in your homes or in food products you buy from the market. But did you know that palm oil is one of the most productive crops in the world? It can produce up to 10 times more oil per hectare than other major oilseed crops like soybeans or sunflowers.

Despite its incredible potential, palm oil is often overlooked and underrated, especially in Africa. With Cocoa and Coffee being the most popular cash crops, many people don’t realize just how important palm oil could be for ensuring that everyone in our continent has enough food to eat. So, get ready to be amazed as we explore 10 reasons palm oil is one of Africa’s most underrated crops yet the key to food security.

Palm oil high yield

Palm oil has high yields

As I mentioned earlier, palm oil has an incredibly high yield compared to other oilseed crops. This means that with the same amount of land, you can produce much more palm oil than other types of vegetable oils. In a continent where our populations are growing rapidly, having a crop that can produce so much food from a small area is a huge advantage.

Nutritional Value

Palm oil is not only productive but also packed with essential nutrients. It’s a good source of vitamins A and E, which are important for maintaining healthy eyesight, skin, and immune system. In many parts of Africa, people suffer from deficiencies of these vitamins, so increasing the consumption of palm oil could help address this problem.

10 benefits of palm oil

Palm Oil Tree Resilience to Climate Change

Palm oil resistance to climate change

Climate change is a major threat to food security in Africa, with droughts, floods, and other extreme weather events becoming more frequent. Fortunately, the oil palm tree is quite resilient and can thrive in a wide range of tropical and subtropical climates. This makes it well-suited for many regions in Africa, where other crops might struggle due to climate change

 Economic Opportunities

The palm oil industry has the potential to create many jobs and income opportunities in Africa. From small-scale farmers to large processing facilities, there are opportunities for people to earn a living at every step of the palm oil supply chain. This can help reduce poverty and improve the lives of many Africans.

10 benefits of palm oil


Palm oil is not just used for cooking; it has many other applications as well. It can be found in products like soap, cosmetics, and even biofuels. This versatility means that there are opportunities to develop new industries and businesses around palm oil, further boosting economic growth and job creation.


Palm oil smallholder farmers

Unlike some other crops that require large plantations and expensive machinery, palm oil can be grown by smallholder farmers with relatively low investment. This makes it accessible to many rural communities in Africa, who can use palm oil production to improve their food security and income.


The oil palm tree doesn’t just produce oil; it also generates other useful byproducts. The leftover materials from oil extraction can be used as animal feed or even as a source of renewable energy. This means that nothing goes to waste, and the entire palm tree can be utilized for various purposes. There’s a Liberian entrepreneur who converts wasted Palm Kernels into Sustainable Livelihoods. I’ll share a link below to read about it.

10 reasons palm oil is good for you

 Sustainable Potential

While there have been concerns about the environmental impact of large-scale palm oil production in some parts of the world, sustainable practices can be implemented to mitigate these issues. By promoting agroforestry systems, where palm trees are grown alongside other crops and trees, the negative effects on the environment can be minimized.

Import Substitution

Many African countries currently import a significant amount of their edible oils from other regions. By increasing domestic palm oil production, these nations can reduce their reliance on imports and save valuable foreign exchange reserves. This can improve their overall food security and economic resilience.

Regional Cooperation

The palm oil industry in Africa presents an opportunity for countries to work together and share knowledge and resources. By fostering regional cooperation, nations can learn from each other’s experiences, develop common strategies, and create a more integrated and efficient palm oil sector across the continent.


Well, there you have it, I hope you enjoyed the lesson and have taken notes – 10 compelling reasons why palm oil is one of the most underrated crops yet the key to food security in Africa. From its incredible productivity and nutritional value to its economic potential and resilience to climate change. Palm oil deserves much more recognition and investment.

Subscribe to the Agric Journalist blog and follow us on social media to stay up-to-date with the latest news, insights, and developments in the world of agriculture.

Until next time, this is your Agric Teacher signing off. Keep learning and let’s make agriculture the cornerstone of Africa’s prosperity!

Check also: Liberian Entrepreneur Converts Wasted Palm Kernels into Sustainable Livelihoods 


Please follow us on X , LinkedIn, WhatsApp 


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button

Discover more from Agriculture Journalist

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading