Fighting illicit crops: the role of oil palm plantations in enhancing social developmentLIVE ROUNDTABLE

Fighting illicit crops: the role of oil palm plantations in enhancing social development


On February 22nd, Competere hosted a panel to discuss how oil palm plantations have helped improving social and economic conditions in areas previously affected by cocaine cultivations and narcotraffic. The roundtable included include first-hand perspectives from Colombian farmers. Over the course of the conference, several messages emerged:

  • A more prosperous future depends – among other things – on certified sustainable palm oil.

  • A 1% expansion of plantations corresponds to a 14% reduction in cocaine cultivation, with positive impacts on local investment growth, education, and water conditions.
  • Environmentally, oil palm plantations have much less environmental impact and land consumption than other vegetable oils.

Download the seminar key takeaways


Carlo Vigna Taglianti, Director General, Poligrow Colombia

Daniel Mauricio Rico Valencia, Founder and Director, C-Análisis

And with the special participation of Colombian farmers Diego Alejandro Londoño e Maria Alejandra Tamayo


Pietro Paganini, President,


The roundtable reported by the media 

Read what FoodNavigator says about the roundtable.


Pills from the event

Daniel Mauricio Rico Valencia, C-Análisis

Carlo Vigna Taglianti, Poligrow Colombia


Diego Alejandro Londoño, Colombian worker

Maria Alejandra Tamayo, Colombian worker

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Carlo Vigna Taglianti has more than 10 years of experience in the agro-industrial sectors and more than 20 years in the sector of renewable energy. He previously worked in different roles at Asja Ambiente Italia S.p.A. including Technical Director, International Business Director and member of the Board. During his career he worked in Italy, Argentina, Brazil and, since 2009, Colombia. He holds a degree from the IAE Business School, Universidad Austral de Buenos Aires – Argentina.

Diego Alejandro Londoño has been part of Poligrow for about 12 years. He spent his childhoood in the Inspectorate of Mapiripán, surrounded by cocaine production, groups of people living outside the law, where child recruitment and assassinations were not uncommon. He was given the chance to study technology and he first came to Poligrow as an apprentice. Through the years he profesionally, he is now a supervisor and is reaching the culmination of his career.

Maria Alejandra Tamayo has been part of Poligrow for about 12 years. She also spent her childhoood in the Inspectorate of Mapiripán, where economy depended on cocaine production, in a time of violence and gang wars, during which she endured displacement and the killing of her relatives. She arrived in Mapiripán’s city centre where she started working with Poligrow, transforming her life thanks to a formal work contract and living a dignified life.

Pietro Paganini is the President and co-founder of Competere – Policies for Sustainable Development – and General Director at Fondazione Luigi Einaudi, the research center that promotes the study of Liberalism and Liberal thought. He serves as Adjunct Professor at John Cabot University and Temple University of Philadelphia and as Researcher and Visiting Lecturer at Karlstad University (Sweden). He served as Vice President and political officer for the European Liberal Youth. He is the Founder and Board Member of Istituto Italiano per la Privacy (IIP) and the European Privacy Association (EPA).

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