Olam International, a leading agri-business operating 70 countries, is encouraging Gabonese youth to take to the fields and farming, in the face of reduced oil revenue. The company is offering to send Gabonese farmers on training courses abroad. Aspiring farmers will be able to observe cocoa and palm oil farming techniques in the Ivory Coast, Morocco and Malaysia. Gabon’s economy is heavily depended on oil, accounting for about 50% of revenue.
However, agriculture holds potential, but would require investment, capability building, and an improved system for issuing land titles to cooperatives and individuals. According to a Bloomberg report, Olam has partnered with the Gabonese Goverment to develop 100,000 ha (hectare) of oil palm plantations in the country. Olam was founded in Nigeria in 1989, and moved to Singapore in the mid-1990s.