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DekelOil, Royal Dutch Shell and Vedanta

Palm oil accounts for more than 60 per cent of that and consumption is expected to double by 2020 as people in developing countries become richer, fry more food and begin to buy products such as biscuits and crisps.

Historically, palm oil production was concentrated in Malaysia and Indonesia, but landowners have been criticised for causing widespread environmental damage and suitable plots are running out.

Interest has now moved to West Africa, which shares a similar climate to South East Asia but has considerably more land available.

Several palm oil producers in the region have been acquired by Asian conglomerates in search of extra acreage.

DekelOil is one of the few remaining independents and the shares, at 1.025p, look undervalued. Companies involved in mining and agriculture are frequently accused of harming not just the environment but also local community life.

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