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Sifca to Boost Ivory Coast Palm Oil Output 33%

Sifca Group, the Ivory Coast company that produces rubber and sugar, will increase palm oil production by 33 percent in the next four years, Chief Executive Officer Bertrand Vignes said.

Output will rise to 400,000 metric tons annually from 300,000 tons as the company plants more trees and improves yields, Vignes told reporters in Abidjan, the commercial capital, late yesterday. The yields will be boosted by using fertilizers, better farming practices and new seeds, he said.

Sifca’s expansion will help the West African nation meet its plan to almost double palm oil production to 600,000 metric tons annually by 2020 from current 390,000 tons.

The company, partly owned by Singapore-based Olam International Ltd. and Wilmar International, operates in Liberia, Nigeria and Ghana. The company is planting seeds in Liberia and will soon produce palm oil in neighboring Ghana, Vignes said.

Sifca will be able to boost processing at its Sania plant in Ivory Coast, Vignes said. The plant processes about 400,000 tons of a year and has a capacity for 500,000 tons a year. Edible oil output is about 300,000 tons a year, he said. The oil is exported to Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal. Ivory Coast is the only West African exporter of palm oil.

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