Yaoundé - 02 October 2023 -

Fertilizer: Russia, Cameroon’s leading supplier, plans a manufacturing plant to enhance agriculture cooperation

Fertilizer: Russia, Cameroon’s leading supplier, plans a manufacturing plant to enhance agriculture cooperation
  • Comments   -   Tuesday, 29 August 2023 15:20

(Business in Cameroon) - Russia is considering setting up a fertilizer manufacturing plant in Cameroon, to enhance agriculture cooperation with the country. The project was disclosed by Anatoly Bashkin (photo), the Russian ambassador to Cameroon, during an audience with Agriculture Minister Gabriel Mbairobe, last August 24. 

If this project materializes, Russia will no longer be an exporter of this agricultural input to Cameroon, but a local producer. According to figures published by the National Institute of Statistics (INS), Russia is Cameroon's leading supplier of fertilizers, with a 43% market share, compared with just 11% for China. Between January and September 2022, Cameroon’s import expenditures rose by 43.4% year-on-year due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, INS figures indicate.  In that context, the creation of a Russian fertilizer manufacturing unit in Cameroon will greatly improve Cameroon’s trade balance, which has been negative for years now. 

It is worth noting that in recent years, projects to build fertilizer manufacturing plants in Cameroon have been slow to materialize. For instance, the CFAF1,250 billion project (in Limbé, Southwest Cameroon) announced by German company Ferrostaal some ten years ago is yet to materialize. "Negotiations are hampered by the price of the gas on offer, which makes the project unprofitable. The case is pending with the National Hydrocarbons Corporation (SNH),” the Ministry of Economy says. 

Speaking before the National Assembly on June 30, 2023, during an oral question session with members of the government, Fuh Calistus Gentry, Acting Minister of Industry, announced that three other projects of the same type were in the pipeline in the country. He did not say when they would start. In the meantime, to avoid a drop in agricultural yields, the Cameroon government has announced a subsidy of CFAF14 billion this year, to support fertilizer prices which have soared since the escalation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in February 2022.


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