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By Makanga John Collins - Intern - Ecological Trends Alliance 

In case the government does not make amends in the oil palm development plan, Buvuma district will be famine prone. The only way government can intervene and save the people of Buvuma from famine is by including land sustainability interventions in the oil palm development plan and properly educating people on how they can properly use their land alongside the oil palm project.

This was confirmed through a scientific research whose results were being disseminated to the District Local Government technocrats and the local communities who are the target primary beneficiaries of the oil palm project. The research showed that famine will bite immediately the oil palm project commences as most of the people in Buvuma have been convinced and forced to sell off their land for palm oil production without proper sensitization.

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) promoted oil palm production which requires 10,000ha of land to start and yet most of the land in Buvuma is extensively under subsistence farmland (arable land). This will consequently bring about food insecurity as most of the land will be devoted to oil palm growing.

The team of researchers from Ecological Trends Alliance warn that the oil palm project if not well planned for, Buvuma district will experience not only famine but will face other social injustices like gender-based violence, unemployment and displacement whose signs are already being felt.

Article by: MAKANGA JOHN COLLINS - Intern - Ecological Trends Alliance

Buvuma Island

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