The oil palm (Elaeis quineensis Jacq.) is of great importance to the people of West Tropical and Equatorial Africa. This palm is there a major food crop under semi-wild conditions and since the end of the 18th century a principal commercial crop. In the first chapters the centres of diversity, natural habitats, domestication and natural and farmer's selection of the oil palm are discussed. The main part deals with the semi-wild palm groves, their classification, yield and ways of increasing yield. Botanical, phytopathological, economic and sociological factors concerning these palm groves were investigated.The main conclusion was that as the human population increased, the standard of living would fall more and more, unless better agricultural methods were introduced for the oil palm and other food and commercial crops. One such method is the replacement of palm groves by farmer's and commercial plantations of the oil palm and other perennial crops, and by arable land. This would be an expensive undertaking and would need sufficient knowledge of the work and much concern from the government and farmers.
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