Agriculture is the main stay of the economy. It occupies more than 70% of the actual population, contributes 42% of the GNP and represents 51% of the exports.
Agriculture, bedrock of Cameroon’s economy: Agriculture is a key and priority sector in Cameroon’s economy. It employs about 70% of the active population, accounts for 19,8% of the GDP and represents 51% of exports. The country’s geographic location and climate have endowed it with a rich and diversified agricultural potential that comprises traditional agriculture and cash-crop cultivation. The major cash-crops are cocoa, coffee, cotton, banana, rubber, Irish potato and pepper. Other crops like groundnuts, sweet potatoes and plantains are grown essentially for household consumption. Agronomic research has been re- launched and is being intensified with a view to improving local productivity. The Agricultural potential of Cameroon is very rich and diversified because of the geographical and climatic situation of the country. Cameroon agriculture comprises more of subsistent farming while very little transformation into value added produce or goods is done.
With an overall surface area of 475,660 km representing some 47million hectares, Cameroon comprises of 9.2 million hectares of arable land including 7.2 million hectares for farming. There is a need to promote the processing of agricultural products. Agricultural production is experiencing a boom, not only for traditional crops grown for domestic consumption, but also for the non-traditional crops like Irish potatoes, onions, wheat, rice and various vegetables, that are consumed locally and also exported
- 90% of all rice consumed locally is imported, indicating significant gap between local demand and supply
- Rice is second main staple food in the country
- World consumption expected to increase dramatically, and not likely to be offset by moderate expansion in production, indicating a gap between global demand and supply
- Favourable agricultural conditions for rice-growing
- Large interest expressed and demonstrated by foreign investors, evidence of the potential inherent within this sector
- Imports amounting to $17 million, indicating potential to meet demand through local production
- Unmet local and regional demand for edible oil, animal feed and fuel; booming global demand and prices
- Oilseed production has beneficial impact upon other sectors within the economy and thus potential for knock-on effect is great
- Cameroon offers optimal growing conditions in abundance. Surface area, rainfall, climate and soil conditions are conducive to production of oilseeds
- 15% of local maize needs satisfied through imports, indicating shortfall between local demand and supply and opportunity to boost production and close the gap.
- Global demand for maize for use in biofuel, feedstock sectors expected to grow unmatched by increases in supply and, as such, shortfall in global supply anticipated
- Optimal production zones within Cameroon
- Potential for large job creation
- 2.3 millions tonnes produced annually less than 10 % transformed great possibility exist in transformation of the product into various derivatives such as starch, flour, bread, sweets etc.