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< prev - next > Crop processing Nut Processing and Oil Extraction KnO 100334_Oilseed processing (Printable PDF)
Most countries in the world have large refineries
producing oil from a variety of plants including
sunflower, rapeseed, mustard seed, soya, maize,
and palm. These large centralised enterprises
have the advantage of high efficiency and
reduced costs due to the economy of scale.
Despite this, in many situations smaller scale
decentralised oil extraction can prove to be
economic and provide opportunities for income
generation. Most commonly, opportunities exist
Oil produced in the large refineries does not
find its way out to more remote and distant
rural areas.
High transport costs are involved in wide
distribution of cooking oil, thereby increasing
the price of oil.
Small farmers produce oilseeds such as
sunflower for sale to the large refineries
which they then buy back, at high cost, in
the form of cooking oil but without the
valuable high protein oil cake.
The crude oil is used to produce added value
products, most commonly soap.
More unusual, high value oilseeds are
Figure 1: Sunflower.
Photo credit: Practical Action / Morris Keyonzo
The main risks that need to be considered are:
The policy environment
In many countries the oil processing
sector is highly politicised and
regulations exist which make entering
the market difficult and tend to support
the monopoly of the large processors.
Large refineries may, for example,
insist that farmers sell all their seed
under a contract. In other cases seed
has to be sold to a central Government
marketing board, the board also
supplies seed for planting.
Figure 2: Sunflowers grown in Kenya
Photo credit: Practical Action / Morris Keyonzo
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