Cameroon, which is often described as ‘Africa in miniature’ has a very wide diversity of physical forms, flora and fauna. The landscape varies from dense tropical forest, through savannah type grasslands and semi-desert in the north. It is centrally located in West Africa and borders on Central Africa. It has a 200km coastline, important for fisheries, tourism and as an outlet for its neighbouring landlocked countries.
Agriculture: rich in potential
Cameroon’s varied climate and landscape allows many crops to thrive. Practically all tropical food crops can be grown. These include: rice, maize, sorgum, millet, manioc, yam, potato, banana, onion, pineapple, pawpaw, mango, citrus fruits and melon. Cash crops include: cocoa, coffee, tea, ginger, sugar cane, pepper, palm oil, and cotton. As in most African countries, agriculture is the main economic activity of the people, providing employment for well over half the population and accounting for 20% of GDP. Revenue generated by the agriculture sector accounts for 55% of export earnings (compared to 30% for hydrocarbons). However, in tandem with other West African oil producing countries, this sector has generally been left to its own devices and there has been a marked lack of significant investment in it by the government. But the situation is set to change. The government’s near-term policy is to ensure food security by 2015. Emphasis will be placed on both food and cash crop development. The Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development’s (Minadar) strategy for the rural sector is to increase the annual production of food crops by 7% and cash crops by 6%. It is estimated that CFA 538bn will be required to kick start the sector. Provided the right policies are implemented and investments made, the agriculture sector could become a major catalyst in accelerated economic growth.
Cameroon Cocoa & Coffee
Cocoa and Coffee are some of Cameroon’s numerous agricultural commodities. The country benefits from favourable agricultural conditions giving it one of the best primary commodity economies in the sub-Saharan Africa region. Along with coffee Cameroon’s principal commercial crops are cotton, tobacco and bananas while sugar-cane palm products and rubber are also grown commercially.
Cameroon continues to improve its cultivation and processing methods, the Cameroonion goods are known for their rich, full body and mellow taste along with very pleasant aromas.
Strengths of growing cocoa and coffee in Cameroon
Cameroon has major strengths in development, among which are: