(Business in Cameroon) - Cameroon's National Competitiveness Committee has compiled a picture of the evolution of the consumer goods market in recent years. It emerges from this document published last April 12 that in 2021, local producers covered 80% of the demand for this type of goods (hydrocarbons excluded). Only 20% were satisfied with imports.
The document suggests that the share of local producers in this market was even higher in previous years as "the penetration rate of foreign products was on an overall upward trend since 2017." This means that although they remain the main suppliers, local producers struggle to expand their footprint on the domestic market.
According to the Competitiveness Committee, a net improvement was only observed in the fish segment. Producers of rice, sugar, and crude palm oil have suffered a setback while the market share of corn producers has roughly remained the same. In detail, the Committee revealed that a little over 99% of local demand for corn was met by local producers, with imports of this cereal amounting to only 22,000 to 23,000 tons that year. However, over the same period, actors in the poultry sector have blamed the decline in their activity on difficulties in obtaining corn supplies (70% of feed). "The problem is not the availability of corn on the local market. It is rather the price that poultry farmers do not like," said an executive of the competitiveness committee to set the record straight.
85.2% of the crude palm oil demand was met by local production, despite imports of nearly 100,000 tons to satisfy refiners. The structural deficit in the sector is now estimated at 160,000 tons annually. In the sugar segment, local producers have been able to meet only 56.5% of the needs, against only 54% for fish.
The biggest headaches for local producers are rice and pharmaceuticals, for which they remain minor suppliers. Local rice was able to meet only 19.2% of national demand in 2021, compared with only 5% for pharmaceutical products.
Translated by Firmine AIZAN
Written in French by Brice R. Mbodiam