The century-old Dizangué plantation is located in an exceptional natural site. In the beginning of the 20th century, this plantation was the region’s only agro-industrial center, and ever since the company has ensured unprecedented development in the Department of Sanaga-Maritime.
The plantation’s development began in 1897, under German protectorate, with the acquisition of 4 000 ha of agricultural land. In the 1920s, rubber cultivation expanded steadily in the Dizangué region, and the concession increased by an additional 11 000 hectares. By that time, almost 7 000 hectares of grafted rubber trees had been planted. During the following decade, the construction of a rubber factory – inaugurated in 1935 – was a highlight in the region’s history.
In 1939, the Société des Plantations de la Sanaga became la S.A.F.A. (Société Africaine Forestière et Agricole). Then, in 1962 Safacam (La Société Africaine Forestière et Agricole du Cameroun) was created. The oil crisis of the 1970s led to a fall in rubber prices and a decrease in the planted rubber area. As a result, Safacam diversified its crops in 1973 and included the oil palm. The government developed a ‘palm plan’, which was implemented by the National Investment Company (SNI). The State took an 11% stake in Safacam’s capital, through the SNI.
Currently, oil palm activity represents 72% and rubber activity 28% of Safacam’s turnover.
Today, Safacam’s investment policy is structured around the main areas reflecting the company’s values:
Increasing the production unit’s performance;
Extending the rubber factory, operational in 2016;
Renovating housing in the villages;
Improving the surrounding communities’ health through awareness campaigns by the medical team.
Safacam is aware that Cameroon has a palm oil shortage of about 50% compared to its domestic needs. Therefore, a rejuvenation of its plantations was initiated to improve yields and environmental protection.
Safacam is supporting the development of the local economic fabric, but also the creation of community infrastructure for the surrounding population. Therefore, various projects were launched to renovate or construct school, health, sports and recreational facilities, facilitating the organization of specific activities in the region.
As a real backbone of economic development in the southern region, Safacam is one of three companies listed on the Douala Stock Exchange.
The plantation has taken part in a number of “public-private” partnerships, allowing for a synergy of competences.
Safacam is a partner of the IECD (European Institute for Cooperation and Development). The IECD strives to improve the professional integration of rural youngsters through the concept of family farm schools (EFAs). An EFA, supported by Safacam in collaboration with the IECD, opened its doors for the nearly 30 children from the Dizangué plantation region in 2014.