In Cameroon's Rain Forest, a Fragile Way of Life

By James Whitlow Delano - 2014-04-03T22:22:38Z

Photograph by James Whitlow Delano for

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Villagers collect bundles of oil palm fruit, much smaller than those harvested on commercial plantations. While commercial farms use the massive amounts of fertilizer needed to yield larger, higher-quality fruit, the artisanal farms don't use any fertilizer at all.

The palm oil produced here is for local consumption, used as cooking oil. The main local cash crop is cacao, some grown under rain forest trees that would be cut down to make way for the Herakles plantation.