Cameroon’s CDC Plans to Help Boost Nation’s Palm-Oil Output 65%

  • Agribusiness wants production to reach 450,000 tons by 2020
  • CDC officials visited No. 2 producer Malaysia to study output

Cameroon’s top state-owned agribusiness plans to help boost palm-oil output in Africa’s third-largest producer by about 65 percent by 2020.

The Cameroon Development Corp. wants to help increase the country’s annual production to 450,000 metric tons, according to a statement obtained from the company’s head office in Limbe on Friday. Output will total 270,000 tons in the 2016-17 season, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show.

That’s less than annual consumption estimated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development at about 385,000 tons. To meet demand for the oil -- used in everything from snacks to lipsticks and fuel -- the government often allows imports under preferential conditions, including tax exemptions and reduced customs duties. CDC officials recently visited Malaysia, the world’s second-biggest producer, to study production techniques.

“The Malaysian performances are the result of the use of cutting-edge technologies, the use of high-yield seedlings” and other production procedures, the CDC said in the statement. “If Cameroon could implement just a quarter of these, then we will see results almost instantly.”

Cameroon, which ranks behind Nigeria and Ivory Coast in terms of output, has about 180,000 hectares (445,000 acres) of palm plantations, Ministry of Trade data show. The ministry has allowed 60,000 tons of crude palm oil imports this year to satisfy processing plant needs.

To help farmers, the government is providing subsidies to buy fertilizers and distributing 6 million high-yielding palm plants for free. The Institute of Agricultural Research in 2015 introduced a program to boost production by 26 percent in three years by establishing an extra 10,000 hectares of plantations annually.

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