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close this bookSmall Scale Processing of Oilfruits and Oilseeds (GTZ, 1989, 100 p.)
close this folder2. Target Groups and Technologies
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


In most rural areas of developing countries, the village is not just a conglomeration of huts and houses but still a functioning community with traditional cultural values and, to a certain extent - common economic interests. Within a village, people might often or regularly come together to do work which is more easily or more effectively done in a sizable group than individually or with family members.

Referring to oil processing at village level, the need either for a specialized trade or for the people to cooperate in groups arises when the quantities to be processed become larger. In West Africa, one comes across groups, processing oilpalm fruit, mainly consisting of women. On the Indian subcontinent, one will find the village oil man, operating his animal drawn gahni for the processing of oil seeds. These systems are generally operated on~a service basis as so-called “service mills", processing the rawmaterials for the client against payment in cash or in kind:

In case the quantities concerned guarantee enough supply, investments in equipment with improved oil recovery or with a labour saving effect can become profitable. The ownership of this improved technology is usually in the hands of individuals, but in the framework of development efforts, self-help groups, pre-cooperatives and more formal cooperatives have been encouraged to establish oil processing units.

However, as mechanized equipment tends to be dominated by men, a shift from processing activities from many women, who are the traditional processors, to a few men can be the result. To make it possible for women to stay in business, the emphasis in recent years in improving traditional technologies has been put on hand-operated equipment.

Below, the existing and possible systems for the processing of oil crops at the village level are presented.