Mechanisms and consequences of benefit sharing from oil palm agribusiness plantations establishment in South Comoé Region, Côte d’Ivoire

Kablan Antoine Effossou, Moses Azong Cho, Abel Ramoelo, Matilda Azong Cho


One of the main difficulties facing agribusiness development in Cote d’Ivoire, is the issue of benefit sharing. Although communal land is expected to be equitably beneficial to all who have a stake on the land, unclear benefit sharing principles and modalities affect the implementation of benefit sharing to the disadvantage of the rural communities. Using a qualitative research approach, the study investigates if the benefit sharing approach practiced by oil palm plantations investors in South Comoé align with globally established standards of access and benefit sharing (ABS). To this end data for the study was collected from 50 participants: rural community members (N=36), agribusiness developers (N=6) and local government authorities (N=8). The results revealed inequality in the land acquisition and benefit sharing negotiation process in favour of local elites. Lack of fairness experienced in the benefit sharing approach in the districts of Aboisso, Bonoua and Adiaké was attributed to the lack of institutional, policy and legal frameworks to guide a fair benefit sharing. Inequality in benefit sharing scheme affects the working relationship between the parties thus generating tensions with consequences on the stability of commercial farming. The study contributes to the debate on the marginalisation of smallholders in the distribution of benefits from agribusiness investments. Therefore, the designing of policies and practical measures that bring together rural communities and agribusiness developers to negotiate fair benefit sharing terms in line with international standards including honesty, inclusive participation of rural community in land acquisition process are recommended.


Agribusiness, Access and benefit sharing, Land tension

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