(Business in Cameroon) - In December 2019, the volume of banana exported by producers reached 16,641 tons, according to figures published by the Banana producers’ association ASSOBACAM. In December 2018, these exports were only 15,605 tons, showing an overall year-on-year increase of 1,036 tons.
In detail, PHP, the local subsidiary of French Compagnie fruitière de Marseille and leader of the Cameroonian banana market, shipped 15,168 tons to international markets last December compared to the 14,343 tons it exported during the same period in 2018 (+825 tons).
As for Boh Plantations Plc, it exported 1,473 tons in December 2019, up by 211 tons compared with the 1,262 tons it exported during the same period in 2018.
The state-owned agribusiness company Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC), which is bearing the brunt of the socio-political crisis in the Southwest, was still missing in the banana producers' database during that period.
This company, the country's second-largest employer after the public administration, has been at a standstill since September 2018, due to the insecurity created in its plantations by English-speaking separatists. Apart from raping workers, these separatists did not hesitate to set fire to some of CDC’s facilities.
After several months of negotiations within the government institutions, some authorized sources at one point hinted of a resumption of activities at the CDC in Q3, 2019, on an area of about 1,000 hectares for a start. However, nothing has materialized to date as the company needs important financial support to recover from the security crisis.
According to Franklin Ngoni Njie, the general manager of this public agro-industrial unit, the financial support needed is estimated at about XAF29 billion. “Seven billion is needed in the rubber sector, 14 billion for banana plantations, seven billion for palm groves. The rest should be used to finance salary arrears,” he indicated.
Brice R. Mbodiam