Agriculture and forestry remain the leading sectors in Cameroon, accounting for some 36% of the merchandise exports and for more than 40% of GDP in 1998/99. Agriculture alone accounts for more than 30% of GDP and provides employment for about 68% of the active population.
The Cameroon government and industry stakeholders have continuingly expressed concern about the impact of rising food import on the local industries and the rural communities especially as vegetable oils, particularly the palm oil, has a vital role to play not only as nutritional source for the Cameroon population, but for their contribution to rural incomes and employment opportunities. Particularly, Cameroon government is expecting a significant progress in implementation of new oil extraction technology where mainly in the palm oil processing technology the value added chain in this commodity is expected.
Cameroon’s oil palm industry still plays a significant role in the national economy, providing oil for house hold consumption, industrial use as well as employment for thousands of Cameroonians who are engaged in production, processing and marketing. This project aims at bringing clarity on to what extent the up to date oil extraction processing technology installed in a concrete rural district, and under a clear management and regulatory structure and environment, outperforms in terms of productivity (tons of palm oil produced), quality (price of the crude palm oil) and income generation, the existing traditional manual processing palm oil producing system.
The methodology applied within this study consists of comparing key indicators across populations of small scale palm oil processors in interaction with traditional non sophisticated technology with different work environment, production capacity, socio-economic status and income levels (cross-sectional statistical analysis)