Find Agriculture expertise in Cameroon
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries contribute a significant 25% of Cameroon’s GDP (2010), retaining its position as the backbone of the Cameroonian economy. Subsistence farming is the predominant mode of agricultural production, the majority of Cameroonian farmers operating as small-holders, working small plots of land with traditional methods. Small-holders are responsible for the majority of cash crop production the bulk of cocoa plantations, the most popular cash crop, are less than three hectares in size. In 2009 agricultural land accounted for 19.8% of total land area.
With the important contribution of the agro-processing industry, agriculture is the basis of livelihood for over 70% of the country’s population and is a major earner of foreign currency. Most of the country’s exports are destined for the European Union. They include cocoa, cotton, coffee, rubber and palm oil. The country was the fifth largest producer of cocoa in the world in 2010, most of it grown in the forested southern areas. Cocoa beans are by far the most lucrative export, generating US$608,847,000 in 2010. Alongside export commodities, farmers produce numerous subsistence crops for domestic consumption. Principal food crops include millet, sorghum, peanuts, yam, cassava, plantains, sweet potatoes and manioc. Additionally, the practice of animal husbandry is significant throughout the country, particularly in the Northern provinces. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Cameroon Development Corporation are some of the key bodies in the sector.
In the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2012-13) Cameroon was placed 46th in the world (out of 144 countries) in terms of its balanced agricultural policy costs. It had a value of 4.2 out of 7, above the world mean of 3.9, placing it directly above South Africa.
Care needs to be put into the sustainability of current agricultural practices. With decreasing land availability and the continuation of traditional shifting agriculture, fallow periods have significantly reduced. Soil fertility in cleared lands is dramatically reduced in some places and slash-and-burn farming is more common. Government institutions and a number of NGOs are initiating resource protection schemes, in order to counter degradation of agricultural land, undermining efforts for food security. The development of sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural practices requires more funding and policy support, to support the need to develop land management systems that promote conservation of the natural resource base.
|Agriculture organisations in Cameroon|
|Cameroon Development Corporation||
|Institute of Agricultural Research for Development||
|Society of Agriculture and Forestry Cameroon (SAFACAM)||