Agriculture and farming production in Cameroon main information
Cameroon is often called as “Africa in miniature” due to its diverse geographical and cultural features. Its topography comprises mountains, deserts, forests, savannas, rivers, and beaches. The triangle-shaped country is bounded one the east by Chad and the Central African Republic; on the south by the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea; and on the west by the Atlantic Ocean and Nigeria. Measuring about 700 km east to west and 1,200 km from north to south, Cameroon covers an area of 475,442 km2.
The climate of Cameroon is humid, tropical in the coastal area and semi-arid to hot in the north. There are periods of intensive rainfall and high temperatures in the plains while the highlands are less warm.
Cameroon is administratively divided into 10 semi-autonomous regions. The regions are sub-divided into 58 divisions, which are further divided into sub-divisions, and each sub-division has a number of districts. Although Cameroon is the fifth biggest oil producer country in sub-Saharan Africa, yet the agriculture sector remains one of the main pillars of Cameroon's economy. It accounts for 15, 8 % of GDP, employs around 42 % of the working population and generates more than one third of total export earnings (the data from 2021). The country's main export partner is the European Union. However, still the bigger part of agricultural activity is confined to subsistence level farming. In 2018, agricultural land area for Cameroon was 97,500 sq. km.
Avocados in Cameroon
Bananas in Cameroon
Cassava in Cameroon
Citrus fruit total in Cameroon
Cucumbers and gherkins in Cameroon
Okra in Cameroon
Onions dry in Cameroon
Pineapples in Cameroon
Plantains and others in Cameroon
Pumpkins squash and gourds in Cameroon
Sorghum in Cameroon
Tomatoes in Cameroon
Watermelons in Cameroon
Yams in Cameroon
Agriculture production in Cameroon
Main agricultural products include plantains, cattle meat, cocoa beans, taro, bananas, maize, fresh vegetables and groundnuts. Cameroon's primary export crops are cocoa, cotton, coffee, bananas, rubber and palm oil.
Cameroon ranks among the world’s largest producers of cocoa beans, which are grown mainly in the south. In the tropical belt, the fertile volcanic soil of Mount Cameroon, called ‘‘Mongo ma Ndemi’’, the Mountain of Greatness (Sanchou area) is particularly favourable for cultivation of the red cocoa, while other regions also produce fine cocoa beans of a deep red color.With a production level between 210,000 and 270,000 t per year over the last decade, Cameroon is currently the fifth largest cocoa producer in the world.
The variety of cocoa found in Cameroon is called trinitario. This a hybrid of two kinds of cocoa, criollo and forastero. It’s a tasty grain that contains qualities from both kinds. It appeared around the 19th century on the island of Trinidad, hence its name. The cocoa obtained from this tree is of very high quality. Its pod has a wide variety of colours, containing an irregular number of beans. The latter, meanwhile, are dark brown, with a more or less rounded shape and regular size.
Cocoa beans are particularly rich in polyphenols. The quantity of catechins are considered very important for healthy properties of cocoa and related products, including chocolate. Secondary products, and in particular polyphenols, can be analysed by the High Performance Thin Layer Chromatography (HPTLC).
The number of households owning cocoa trees is varying between 250,000 and 600,000. Marketed production is estimated at 241,000 t of dry beans for the season 2018-2019, of which 186,000 t was exported without being processed and 55,000 t was sold to local processors. Cocoa is the main cash crop, but farmer families also grow a range of other crops for the market and for their own subsistence. Traditionally, plantain, cassava, sugar cane and many other food plants are dispersed within the cocoa farms.
Livestock production in Cameroon
As in most West African countries, the organic sector in Cameroon is still underdeveloped. Estimates of certified organic production suggest that 7,000 hectares of land are under organic management accounting for 0.08 % of the total agricultural area . Livestock production and trade are critical for the food security and welfare of rural in Cameroon. However areas traditionally reserved for livestock are being classified as natural parks and game reserves. Cattle constitute the primary source of milk and meat for the population. Production depends largely on the traditional pastoralists who rely almost exclusively on native pasture to meet the needs of their animals. Milk produced is used mainly for family consumption. In each family farm, a small nucleus of about 10 to 50 cows are kept around the compound for milk production, and are not taken on transhumance. The number of cows being milked depends on several factors amongst which the general condition of the cow and calf, and the family food secure considered most important.
Pig production in Cameroon, similar to many other African countries is unorganized, production costs high, and animal diseases common. In 2019, number of pigs for Cameroon was 1.96 million thousand heads. Number of pigs of Cameroon increased from 430,000 thousand heads in 1970 to 1.96 million thousand heads in 2019 growing at an average annual rate of 4.06%.
Poultry population and production in Cameroon is also increasing. In 2019, production of poultry meat for Cameroon was 83,510 tonnes.
Forestry in Cameroon
According to the Ministry of Forests and Wildlife (2018), Cameroon has about 22 million hectares of forests, or nearly 46% of the total country area. 26 000 hectares (0.1% of the forest area) is categorised as planted forest.
Cameroon’s forests are mainly tropical rainforests of two predominant types: lowland evergreen (54% of total forest area), and lowland semi-deciduous (28%). The evergreen forests can be divided into two broad categories: The Biafran forests, a low altitude coastal forest along the Gulf of Guinea, and the Congo Basin forests in Cameroon’s south and southeast. Biafran forests have been largely cleared, but where it still exists, it is characterised by species such as Azobé (Lophira alata) and Ozouga (Sacoglottis gabonensis). The composition of species in the Guinean-Congolese forests differs significantly from that of the Biafran forest due to the absence of gregarious Caesalpiniacae, with the notable exception of the Limbali (Gilbertiodendron dewevrei). Another characteristic is the significant number of Moabi (Baillonella toxisperma). Other commercial tree species harvested include Sapelli (Entandrophragma cylindricum) and Sipo (Entandrophragma utile) and Ayous (Triplochiton scleroxylon). The dense semi-deciduous medium-altitude forest is characterised by its abundance of Sterculiaceae.
The Cameroonian exports are sold to all regions of the world. Besides overland export routes to other African countries, most timber is exported via the main port of Douala. This port is also used as one of the main ports for the export of timber harvested in the Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. According to MINFOF (2018), Cameroon's logging industry produced approximately 3.3 million metres of logs in 2017.
Fishing industry in Cameroon
Cameroon has a relatively short coastline of 402 km and an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) estimated at 14 500 km2; relatively weak currents and upwelling systems make the maritime area only moderately productive. Total capture production in 2015 was estimated around 239 000 tonnes, 75 000 tonnes from inland waters and 164 000 tonnes from marine waters, with small pelagics accounting for about 67 percent of the total marine catch. The majority of marine catch is supplied by approximately 18 400 artisanal fishers fishing along the entire coast and particularly in estuaries using mostly traditional gear such as bottom set and drift nets, encircling nets, traps and hand lines. Cameroon has also extensive inland water resources consisting of several large rivers, the main of which are the Benoué and the Sanaga. Cameroon also shares with three other countries a portion of the lake Chad. As of 2015, inland fisheries were estimated to employ more than 31 000 workers, who are also involved in the production of dried and smoked fish.
Aquaculture production is still negligible. The total production level in 2015 was estimated at 840 tonnes valued at USD 2.8 million, mainly with Nile tilapia and some African catfish.
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