AGRIBUSINESS IN CAMEROON
“I would like to state before you all that Cameroon will always be pleased to welcome private foreign investors. We are offering them mutually beneficial partnerships”.
Head of State, PAUL BIYA in a speech to the diplomatic corps on January 10 2014,
DEVELOPMENT OF AGRICULTURE
OPPORTUNITIES IN DEVELOPING AND UPGRADING VALUE CHAINS
EXPECTATIONS FOR AGRICULTURE DEVELOPMENT
The development of agro industry in Cameroon is expected to lead to the following:
THE NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL INVESTMENT PLAN (PNIA)
To enable the development of the agricultural sector, the Cameroonian government recently approved its National Agricultural Investment Plan (PNIA), which aims to invest 3.35billionFCFA in the development of agriculture for the seven year period 2014-2020. Out of this, over 1.5billion (42% of the full amount) are to be raised from lenders.
The PNIA aims to foster the development of production value chains (crop, animal, fisheries, forestry); the modernisation of production infrastructure and the development of financing access mechanisms; management and sustainable use of natural resources, the reinforcement of operator capacities and the promotion of collaboration among these various entities.
This agricultural investment plan is a direct result of Cameroon signing the Detailed Programme for Agricultural Development in Africa (PDDAA) pact, implemented by the NEPAD. By joining this pact, Cameroon is committed to devote10% of its national budget to agriculture.
Cameroon has a varied portfolio of both food and cash crops. Food crops include cereals, plantains, roots and tubers, fruits, vegetables. Cash crops include cocoa, coffee, palm oil, banana.
Maize output reaches 1,085,000 tons. The aim of the government’s policy is to increase this production to 1,960,000 tons in 2015. Projects to achieve this objective include the Support Program for the Maize Sector (PNAFM), the Agricultural Investment and Development Market Project in Cameroon (PIDMA), The Grassfield Project, The National Program for Food Security (PNSA), The Support Project for Agricultural Competiveness(PACA), The Support Project to the Dvelopment of the Agric Sectors(PADFA). The production of rain-fed and irrigated rice stands at 60,000 tons. The objective is to increase this production to about 170,000 tons in 2015. The Upper Noun Development Authority (UNVDA), Rice Extension and Modernisation Corporation (SEMRY) are also very significant actors in the rice sector
The production of plantain stands at 1,350,000 tons. The objective is to increase this production to 2,700,000 tons in 2015 and develop the value chain within the framework of the Programme for the Revival of the Plantain Sub-sector (PRFP).
Roots and tubers:
the objective is to increase roots and tubers (cassava, Irish potato, sweet potato) production to 6,319,000 tons in 2015 as against 3,836,000 tons through the the Agricultural Investment and Development Market Project in Cameroon (PIDMA), Program Pionnier and the Grassfield Project.
Fruits & Vegetables:
A diagnosis of this sector has been financed by the European Union. The study concluded that Cameroon has a strong potential for growing fruits especially citrus varieties in the Littoral, West, Centre, Far-North and South. Tomato production stands at 430,000 tons and onion at 80,000 tons. The government through the Support Project to the Development of the Agric Sectors (PADFA) and IFAD is working to boost the production of onions. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has put in place a project to export citrus and mango products by the year 2020.
Furthermore, pineapples are envisaged for export to the United States market through the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA). We seek to attract efficiency seeking Direct Foreign Investments (DFI) from the US to push the country’s ambition and potential to embark on a structural transformation process in this sector.
Production stands around 180,000 tons and should be increased to 280,000 by 2015.
Arabica and Robusta coffee : Arabica and Robusta coffee production stand at 10,000 tons and 50,000 tons respectively. Two projects are being implemented to boost cocoa and coffee productions through efficient production and improved plant material. According to statistics provided by the inter-Professional Cocoa and Coffee Council (CICC), Cameroonian producers exported 187 tonnes of “washed coffee” in 2013 – a flavour that is valued by “niche” markets. Cameroon has been one of the pioneers in washed Robusta coffee. Robusta coffee-washing factories have opened in Santchou (West), Mouambong (between the coastal and south-western regions) and Angossas (in the east). There are Arabica coffee-washing factories in the west and north-west. But Cameroonian coffee roasters process only 5% of national production of Arabica and Robusta coffees so there is great potential for investment and growth in this sub-sector.
Palm oil :
Production is expected to rise from 130,000 tons to 166,000 tons in 2015. This will be achieved through the Programme for the development of smallscale palm groves. Industrial Palm oil production is undertaken by the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), PAMOL Plantations and the Societe Camerounaise des Palmeraies (SOCAPALM).
Cotton fibre :
Production stands at 83,000 tons. This sub-sector is facing a drastic drop in international prices due to western subsidies.
Natural rubber :
Production stands around 62,000 tons. An average 7% increase is expected by 2015 thanks to the rise in international prices.
There will be brisk business in the tobacco sub-sector notably through the project for the support of the revival of tobacco cultivation in the East region of Cameroon.
Cameroon’s forests cover 40% of the national territory representing 22.5 million hectares. Loggers are increasingly interested in Cameroonian forests with their more than 600 marketable species. The most prized species include iroko, akki, sapelli, mohabi, sipo, swetenia, movingui. Log production stands at about 2.3 million m3. Initiatives to maintain this production volume are centred on the Forest and Environment Sector Programme (PSFE). The programme aims to promote reforestation and sustainable management of forest and wildlife resources. It seeks to ensure biodiversity conservation and promotes community management of the forest and wildlife heritage to improve living conditions of the population. The National Forest Development Support Agency (ANAFOR) has been set up to assist in the implementation of the National Programme for the development of private and community forest plantations. More specifically, the aim is to provide training services and supervise grassroots communities within the development of forest plantations.
livestock plays a prominent role in Cameroon’s economy. In order to meet the nutritional needs of the population, Cameroon plans to double meat production by 2015, exporting any surplus. The size of cattle production is expected to move from 5,600,000 head to 15,746,277 head in 2015. Several programmes and projects are being implemented to enable this growth including the Pan African Programme for the Control of Episooties (PACE) and the Support Project for the Control of Animal Trypanosomiasis and their vectors (PALCTAV). These projects will improve the animal production environment by strengthening the capacity of producers and improving veterinary services for the epidemiological surveillance of trans-border diseases.
The government is also seeking to increase dairy production and create employment in pastoral communities, through the Small Holder Dairy Development Project. In the pig breeding sector, increased production is projected at 3,374,202 head in 2015 compared to the current 1,200,000 head through the Programme the Development of the Pig Sub-sector (PDFP). Poultry production stands around 20 million.
There is a huge potential in the animal feed and milk transformation industry.
With an expansive seaboard, Cameroon is endowed with enormous halieutic assets for local demand and also for agro industry which remains under-exploited. Fisheries production is estimated at 173,000 tons with 93,000 tons produced by small-scale maritime fishing, 75,000 tons from continental fishing and 5,000 tons from fish ponds. Several projects are being implemented to improve fisheries production namely : Aquaculture Promotion Project; project to improve the health status of fisheries products; project to reduce post-catch losses; the project to support the development of small-scale and maritime fishing; and the pilot project – improved livelihoods in the post-catch sector of small-scale fishing. In thsi sector the aquqculture and shrimp industry present a huge investment potential