During 2016, the production of palm oil in Cameroon dropped by about 30%, mainly due to unfavourable climate conditions. This drop in the production should remain the same proportions in 2017, the Regulatory Committee of the Oleaginous sector and the Association of Oleaginous Refineries of Cameroon (ASROC) plan.
Anticipant this lower production in 2017, coupled with an annual structural deficit which has been peaking at 130,000 tons for 2 years now, due to the dynamism observed in the processing section; the Cameroonian government has just authorised imports of 95,000 tons of palm oil and derivatives, Jacquis Kemleu Tchagbou, General Secretary of ASROC, revealed.
These imports, which will be done with preferential conditions, in particular a customs rate of 5% and VAT exemption, will help guarantee to local refineries the availability of raw materials for the production, throughout the year 2017, of refined vegetable oils, soaps and other by-products. In 2016, the government had authorised, with the same conditions, imports of 60,000 tons. According to ASROC, 45,000 tons have already been imported.
The remaining 15,000 tons will be unloaded at the port of Douala early in January 2017, the SG of ASROC announced, giving assurances on the availability, “in quality, quantity and best price”, of vegetable oils and other soaps on the Cameroonian market in this end of year .
Critics say It is a paradox for Cameroon with huge palm production potential to import palm oil. With a rich soil favourable for the growing of palms,deplorable farms to market roads and limited support from the state are major impeding factors to an ever demanding market.