Palm oil is one of the major oil crops in the world, producing important vegetable oils in the world oil and fats market. Its production generates solid wastes whose sustainable management is crucial for the oil chain development in oil palm producing countries. Benin Republic is a small oil palm producing country where oil palm plays social, cultural, and economic roles for farmers. This chapter analyzes the linkage between improvement of palm oil process extraction and palm oil mill solid waste (POMSW) management for sustainable palm oil production. Composed mainly of fibers, the two kinds of POMSW are empty fruit bunches (EFBs) and press mesocarp fibers (PMFs), which are rich in units’ fertilizers and are renewable energy. POMSW in Benin Republic is used in agriculture, in cosmetic, or as energy. The upgrade of traditional mills generates POMSW use as a boiler fuel to reducing wood necessity and increasing farm profit. As this use is not sustainable, research must be made to generate electricity with POMSW and its use for crop fertilization, to ensure environment protection, enhance contribution to food security, restore degraded soils, and increase earnings of producers of rural areas.
Part of the book: Solid Waste Management in Rural Areas
Atacora mountain is a particular ecosystem of West Africa where soil degradation occurs. The present study assessed the impacts of physical soil degradation on vegetation in the Beninese portion of this mountain chain. Phytosociological surveys were carried out along line transects from plain to summit within 22 plots of 30 m x 30 m. Based on indicators of physical soil degradation each plot was classified into one soil degradation class (Light, Moderate, High or Extreme). Impacts on plant diversity were assessed by comparing the floristic composition of soil degradation classes with the index of similarity of Jaccard. Variations between soil degradation classes of species richness, species chorological types, species life forms and species dispersal were also tested using a discriminant analysis combined with ANOVA. The Multi-Response Permutation Procedures analysis was used to pairwise compare the soil degradation classes based on the cover data of the species lists. All soil degradation classes were dissimilar, depending on the floristic composition. Discriminant analysis and ANOVA performed on biodiversity indicators had shown that species richness, and the number of regional species, phanerophytes and sarcochory decreased along the increasing degradation gradient in contrast to the number of species with wide distribution, therophytes and sclerochory. With regard to vegetation structure, the results had shown that only moderately and highly degraded soils presented the similar vegetation type. Physical soil degradation induced modification of floristic composition, phytodiversity loss and modification of vegetation structure. These results showed that the soil degradation gradient corresponds to a vegetation disturbance gradient.
Part of the book: Soil Erosion