(Business in Cameroon) - The General Secretariat of the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC) in partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) assembled on 30 and 31 March in Yaoundé, about thirty organisations and businesses in the sub region who approved a Regional Strategy Document for Sustainable Development in the palm oil sector.
The opportunity of such an initiative, noted Ludovic Miaro, WWF representative, results from the fact that, the Central African states are tackling a serious problem of deficit (>50%) in palm oil and are resorting to imports from South Asian countries to satisfy national demand. Thus, the document signed in Yaoundé is one of the solutions to rectify the deficit situation in the sub region while limiting the ecological impact of this sector on the high conservation value forests, the loss of bio diversity and subsistence means of local communities. This Strategy will be transmitted to the Conference of Ministers of CEEAC in charge of Agriculture and Forests with a view to its adoption during the year 2017. To the States, the participants (Socapalm, CDC, Palmol, BAD, FAO, Olam Gabon, Comifac, etc.) recommended providing an exhaustive list of the companies and professional organisations, both big and small producers of commodity sectors in general and that of palm oil in particular. But equally to associate the Development Bank of Central African States (Banque de Développement des Etats de l’Afrique centrale - BDEAC) and local banks financing this sector.
Furthermore, it was recommended that CEEAC study the possibility of elaborating a sub-regional strategy on the development of eco-agriculture on all the industrial farming in the agro-ecological zones (cotton, shea, cocoa, coffee, tea, etc.) in line with the CEEAC Common Agricultural Policy. Without forgetting to mobilise institutions and existing sub-regional and international financial tools in order to finance eco-agriculture while integrating the strategy of the palm oil sector.