Oil Palm Farming: Towards Greater Production in Cameroon
The palm is a crop that can eliminate poverty, create employment and preserve social cohesion.
Concomitant sources put Cameroon’s palm oil production at 300.000 tons in 2015. The titular Ministry projects to carry palm oil production in the Country to 450.000 tons by 2020.
Areas where the palm crop prospers in the Country include the coastal zone of Cameroon, the central belt, southern parts of the North West Region and the celebrated South West Region. In the South West Region, such giant producers like the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), PAMOL Plantations, Mukete Estates and many smallholder individual producers champion the production of palm oil.
Going by Agricultural expert reports picked from varied sources, at least 60.000 hectares of land is employed for palm farming in Cameroon. The species grown include the “dura palm” that has kernels with thick shell, the “pisi fora palm” with kernels and no shell, the “tenera palm” with kernel and thin shell. From the specificities of the palms, growers can choose which palm to plant and for what purpose. It is possible to grow palms for kernels only, just like farming palms for the oil.
Difficulties frequently reported as inherent to palm farming include the poor road network hampering the commercialization of the produce. Equally, costly inputs like fertilizers, clearing and pruning of farms, harvesting and milling of nuts are the uphill of the venture. So, too, adding value to by-products of palms to provide more employment remain a matter for titans.
In perspective, the Government of Cameroon is bent on improving palm oil production in Cameroon as part of its vision 2035. A recent trip to Indonesia by Cameroonian experts to study world celebrated achievements in oil palm farming is another concrete step taken to advance the sector. A slogan like “Second Generation Agriculture” has also come to boost the domain for greater self-reliance.
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