Palm oil and rubber are abundant raw materials in Cameroon, a country where agro-industry occupies a prominent place in the industrial sector.

  • Palm oil

For centuries, palm oil – also known as red oil – has been an integral part of the diet of people in Central Africa, including Cameroon, where it is highly appreciated for its flavour and its low cost.
In Cameroon, urbanisation and population growth have led to an increase in demand for palm oil and, hence the more intensive exploitation of the oil palm. Village plantations have multiplied.
When the country became independent, the government launched a programme of investment in large industrial plantations in response to the palm oil shortage on the local market. Despite this, Cameroon still has to import 50 % of its domestic vegetable oil requirements.
Since 2012, the country’s agro-industrial companies, supported by the central government and the WWF, have worked together to implement the eight Principles and 39 Criteria of the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). The aim of this organisation is to reduce deforestation, preserve biodiversity and respect the livelihoods of rural communities.

  • Rubber

In the future, Natural rubber could be a real cash crop for the villagers of Cameroon.
This raw material has two undeniable advantages for its producers:
- it provides permanent income throughout the year;
- it does not degrade (an important factor when means of transport or sales opportunities are not immediately available).

An important driver of development in remote areas, rubber cultivation also enables pure green energy to be produced: natural rubber can replace synthetic rubber (a petroleum distillation product) and represents a significant carbon sink.
Rubber production, primarily for export, is a significant source of foreign currency for Cameroon.

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