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Research Report

The non-industrial palm oil sector in Cameroon

Raymond Ndip Nkongho
Laurène Feintrenie
Patrice Levang
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2014
Pages: 32
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https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep02348
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-3)

    Oil palm (Elæis guineensis Jacq.) is not new to Cameroon, since it is indigenous to the countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea. People in the rainforest region of Cameroon used to harvest fresh fruit bunches (FFB) from the wild dura variety to produce palm oil and kernel oil, and fell and tap old stands of both dura and pisifera varieties to produce palm wine, which is a much cherished liquor. The hybrid tenera oil palm variety produces the highest yield—up to eight times more—compared to other vegetable oil crops like soybean, sunflower or rapeseed (Mathew et al. 2007;...

  2. (pp. 4-5)

    A preliminary survey of the oil palm production areas was carried out in 2011, while data collection from sampled respondents took place in 2011/2012. This preliminary survey led to the selection of four out of the seven major palm oil production basins: Eseka, Dibombari, Muyuka and Lobe/Mundemba. The location of the four selected palm oil production basins/zones is shown in figure 1, while figure 2 shows the suitability of the different regions in Cameroon to oil palm cultivation. It is interesting to note that during the FONADER-sponsored smallholder scheme, seven palm oil zones were carved out as production basins to...

  3. (pp. 6-15)

    Eseka and Dibombari are located in the francophone part of Cameroon, with Eseka being a more “closed” agricultural zone controlled by the native Bassa people, while Dibombari shows a mixture of migrants from other parts of the country alongside the native Abbor people. Muyuka and Lobe/Mundemba zones are home to the Balung and Oroko’s natives with many immigrants from the Northwest. Dibombari and Muyuka have a good access to major markets, while Eseka and Lobe/Mundemba are more isolated.

    A total of 97.2% of the sampled palm oil producers were household heads, 2.8% were non-household heads, with 93.8% of males owning...

  4. (pp. 16-19)

    Agriculture forms the backbone of Cameroon’s economy, and 70% of the population depends on agriculture and pastoral activities for their livelihood (World Bank 2012). The non-industrial palm oil sector creates direct and indirect job opportunities and generates income for people of all age groups and social status, thus participating in poverty alleviation. Most palm oil producers have the basic knowledge to establish an oil palm plantation, regardless of their level of education, though to some extent they still need to seek the advice of agricultural experts. What usually poses a problem is the financial capital needed to invest in oil...

  5. (pp. 20-20)

    This study exposes the strengths and weaknesses faced by different types of palm oil producers. Some of the strengths possessed by the different palm oil producers include: posing little threat to the primary forest; artisanal mills, despite their low extraction rate, fetch better income; availability of a domestic and sub-regional market for the sale of palm oil; availability of abundant already cleared land which could easily be used by the different palm oil producers; basic knowledge on oil palm cultivation, though this knowledge may differ according to the type of producer.

    The weaknesses exposed by the study include: the fact...