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Research Report

Artisanal Milling of Palm Oil in Cameroon

Yvonne K. Nchanji
Ofundem Tataw
Raymond N. Nkongho
Patrice Levang
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2013
Pages: 33
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. vi-vii)

    The oil palm (Elæis guineensis Jacq.) is a perennial tree crop of the Arecaceae family (Rieger 2012). It is native to the countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea (Hoyle and Levang 2012), with the main belts running through the southern latitudes of Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and into the equatorial region of Angola and Congo (Bakoume and Mahbob 2006; Carrere 2006). In the wild, the oil palm fruit occurs in two forms, termed dura (with a large kernel) and pisifera (having no shell and yet sterile). Tenera is a hybrid from dura and pisifera, and the...

  2. (pp. 1-2)

    This study was carried out in three major palm oil basins in Cameroon located around the oil palm agro-industrial zones of Eseka, Lobe and Dibombari, respectively in Centre, South-West and Littoral regions of the Republic of Cameroon.

    These regions meet the required biophysical conditions for the growth and development of oil palm. These conditions as put forth by Better Crops International (1999) include:

    High temperatures all year round, between 25-28° C.

    Sufficient sunshine: At least five hours of sun per day.

    High precipitation: Evenly distributed rainfall 1,800 – 2,400 mm/year without dry spells for more than 90 days; higher rainfall...

  3. (pp. 3-20)

    Before the advent of artisanal mills/presses, smallholders had local/wild varieties that they processed using traditional methods, either by pounding cooked fruits in large wooden or concrete mortars with wooden pestles or by foot-trampling the cooked but cold fruits in specially constructed wooden troughs. The oil was extracted by pressing the pounded nuts with the aid of a bag and a stick.

    The agro-industrial corporations later introduced the improved variety wherein the smallholders had an agreement to supply their produce to them at a cost that varied with the area and corporation. As time went on, production increased and often the...

  4. (pp. 21-21)

    Men were more involved in the transformation process than women, while women were more involved in the commercialization of palm oil. The role of women in the process was evident in sieving and loading during transformation and buying and selling the CPO in local markets and towns. Both family and hired labor were observed, although family labor was predominant in Eseka.

    Commercialization of crude palm oil was observed and recorded to be a lucrative business in the study area. The millers sell the CPO in the village, while buyers come from different parts of the country to purchase in gallons...