(Business in Cameroon) - Producers of dessert bananas in Cameroon exported 249,610 tons throughout the year 2016. These statistics published by the Association of Banana production of Cameroon (ASSOBACAM) reveal a decrease of nearly 30,000 tons compared to the 279,493 tons of bananas exported by Cameroon in 2015, according to National Port Authority (Autorité Portuaire Nationale - APN) statistics.
This fall in Cameroonian exports above all relegates the country to 2nd place African producer of bananas after a short-lived first place snatched from Côte d'Ivoire in 2015. Indeed, that year, this West African country, which topped banana production in Africa for years with an average annual production around 300,000 tons, had seen its production drop to 254,000 tons due to heavy rains which caused the Agneby river to overflow, creating floods in 1,300 hectares of banana plantations between 28 and 30 June 2014.
In 2016, following the arrival of two new companies in Côte d’Ivoire a little more than a year ago, namely Société Ivoiro-Antillaise de Production Agricole (SIAPA) and Bananes Antilles-Côte d'Ivoire (BANACI); Ivorian banana production resumed its rising curve, reaching 280,000 tons according to statistics revealed by Commodafrica, being more than 30,000 tons above Cameroon. During the period under review, Société des Plantations du Haut Penja (PHP), subsidiary in Cameroon of Compagnie Fruitière de Marseille, remained market leader of dessert bananas in the country, with 124,875 tons exported according to ASSOBACAM. Against 113,574 for Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), the number two in the local market and 11,161 tons for Société Boh Plantations.
As a reminder, officially, bananas are the 3rd export product of Cameroon behind oil, which represents more than 40% of total exports of the country, and logs and sawn timber, which represent about 15% of Cameroonian exports.
Brice R. Mbodiam