Cover Image
close this bookSmall Scale Processing of Oilfruits and Oilseeds (GTZ, 1989, 100 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentPreface
close this folder0. Introduction
View the document0.1 Economic aspects
close this folder0.2 Technical aspects
View the document(introduction...)
View the document0.2.1 Processes for oil fruits
View the document0.2.2 Processes for oil seeds
View the document0.3 Development potentials
close this folder1. Oil Plants and their Potential Use
View the document1.1 Characteristics of vegetable fats and oils
close this folder1.2 The major oil plants
View the document1.2.1 Oil palm
View the document1.2.2 Coconut palm
View the document1.2.3 Soyabean
View the document1.2.4 Groundnut
View the document1.2.5 Sunflower
View the document1.2.6 Sesame
View the document1.2.7 Rape and mustardseed
View the document1.2.8 Other oil-yielding plants
View the document1.3 By-products
View the document1.4 Further processing
close this folder2. Target Groups and Technologies
close this folder2.1 Family level
View the document(introduction...)
View the document2.1.1 Oil palm fruit
View the document2.1.2 Oil seeds
close this folder2.2 Village level
View the document(introduction...)
View the document2.2.1 Oil palm fruit
View the document2.2.2 Oil seeds
View the document2.3 District level
close this folder3. Case Studies
View the document3.1 Shea nut processing by women in Mali
View the document3.2 Hand-operated sunflowerseed processing in Zambia
View the document3.3 Oil palm fruit processing as a women's activity in Togo
close this folder4. Financial Analysis of the Case Studies
View the document(introduction...)
View the document4.1 Shea nut processing in Mali
View the document4.2 Sunflower seed processing in Zambia
View the document4.3 Oil palm fruit processing in Togo
close this folder5. Selected Equipment
close this folder5.1 Hand-operated equipment
View the document5.1.1 Hand-operated processing of palm fruit
View the document5.1.2 Hand-operated processing of oil seeds
close this folder5.2 Motorized equipment
View the document5.2.1 Motorized processing of oil palm fruit
View the document5.2.2 Motorized processing of oil seeds
View the document6. Ongoing Research and Development Work
View the documentAnnex


In most societies, the family comprises the smallest economic unit. In developing countries, however, a family does not usually consist simply of husband, wife and their children. More often, a family includes other relatives (grandparents, grandchildren, cousins, etc.) or even close friends living in the same household. In islamic countries, a family might include a second or more wives and their children. In traditionally oriented societies, the extended family is still very important for the social identity of the individual.

Viewed from the point of oil processing, a family is defined here as a group of people living together in one household, ranging in numbers from one (exceptionally) up to 30, sharing common social and economic interests and usually having their meals together. Oil processing at this level of social aggregation primarily aims at subsistence needs, but also contributes to cash income.

In many areas of developing countries, oil fruits and oil seeds are available as a rawmaterial, and processes to prepare vegetable oil are known to the population. The modest needs for vegetable oil for the family pot are supplied by the women, following traditional methods of processing.

Next to the production of oil for the family, women also make products for sale on the local market to earn the money required to pay for their contributions to other family needs, such as the ingredients for the daily family pot. These are generally made up by some vegetables and spices and, when the money is available, by some (dried) fish or meat, all prepared into a sauce. This sauce is eaten as a relish, that accompanies the staple, which is based on a starchy food as a grain or a root crop.

When men produce an oilcrop that must be processed before marketing, the processing is generally not carried out at the family level. When sizable quantities are involved, the processing is carried out by specialized groups at the village level. This will be dealt with in the next chapter.

Below, a description is given of some traditional methods at family level to process oil palm fruit and oil seeds for food and cash income.