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Oil palm plantation workers harvest precious fruit

Rodrigo Abd / AP

Francisco Milcoc hoists an oil palm fruit to the top of a trailer truck at a plantation in Sayaxche, Guatemala.

Palm oil harvested from the African oil palm is a key ingredient in half of all packaged food, and Guatemala has been recognized as being one of the most efficient producers of this edible product.

It's also used in biofuel and Guatemala’s plantations have kept up with demand increasing production 146% since 2005 according to the National Institute for Agrarian and Rural Studies.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

An oil palm plantation worker sharpens his machete that he uses to loosen fruit bunches of the African oil palm in Sayaxche, Guatemala.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

Felipe de Jesus, 20, hauls bunches of fruit from the African oil palm at a plantation in Sayaxche, Guatemala.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

An ox pulls a cart filled with the fruit of the African oil palm, along a plantation dirt road in Sayaxche, Guatemala.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

Fruit bunches from the African oil palm are transported from a plantation to an extraction plant, in Sayaxche, Guatemala.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

Oil palm plantation workers are transported back to their pickup point after a day of work in Sayaxche, Guatemala.