Cameroon to boost palm oil production

PalmAccording to the FAO, Cameroon is Africa’s third biggest palm oil producer. (Image source: Nathan Cooke/Flickr)Cameroon plans to use better quality of seeds in its palm oil sectorto help raise production of the oil by 26 per cent over the next three years

Essimi Menye, agriculture minister of Cameroon, said that the new seeds will be planted over an additional 30,000 ha of land and are expected to boost production to 290,000 metric tonnes a year, compared with 230,000 tonnes produced currently.

“About 10,000 additional ha of plantations will be planted each year. The seeds will be produced by the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development and distributed for free to farmers,” said Menye.

Nuza Syxtus Thomas, administrator of the National Seed Fund of Cameroon, stressed that their responsibility was to encourage and put in place a vibrant seed sector in Cameroon.

Cameroon’s demand for palm oil is estimated at 325,000 tonnes a year. The Central African nation currently has 160,000ha of palm oil plantations, revealed Thomas.

According to Menye, by 2020 the Cameroon government will reduce the importation of palm oil and also create more jobs and added value for the economy.

Menye stated that the gap was around 100,000mt and the population was growing rapidly with consumption rising, leading to high demand.

"We need to produce more," the minister said.

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