The greater part of the cost price of palm oil was spent on harvesting the ripe bunches. To harvest at the moment of best ripeness, the bunches had to be collected every 5 to 8 days.An oilpalm estate was divided in 8 divisions of approximately 2000 acres, under supervision of an assistant manager. Topografical differences in the divisions gave rise to very variable harvesting costs. Judging the cost price depended usually on common sense.On flat terrain the oil palms were planted in rows perpendicular to a railway line; on sloping terrain in widely divergent directions. The following labour analysis was drawn up: the labour effort of the harvesters to detect the ripe bunches; the labour effort to climb into the palm trees to cut off the bunches; the labour effort to carry the bunches to the railway; the labour effort to load the bunches into trucks. A formula was derived for the production per labourer. It represented a hyperbola for production per acre from 0 to∞and contained variables mainly dependent on topographic influences. Weather conditions and other influences explained the deviations from the most probable straight lines (reciprocals) and hyperbolae.