Cameroon records 19k tons decline in banana exports in first nine months

CAMEROON – Cameroon, one of the largest banana exporters in Africa, has reported a 19, 387 tons decline in exported amounts of the commodity, in the first nine months of 2020.

According to the Banana Association of Cameroon (Assobacam), during the period under-review, the country exported a total of 136,048 tons of bananas, a drop from 155,435 tons attained last year.

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The decline is attributed to unfavourable weather conditions which prolonged the dry season leading to low yields.

Among the three main exporters, Plantations du Haut Penja (PHP), subsidiary of Compagnie fruitière de Marseille, saw its exports dip by 21,033 tons, from 142,621 tons attained the previous year to 121,588 tons in January-September 2020.

The same down trend performance was reflected by Boh Plantations. The agribusiness company exported only 10,969 tons of banana against 12,814 tons of the same period in 2019. This shows a year-over-year drop of 1,845 tons in its exports.

With only 3,491 tons of banana exported during the period, Cameroon Development Corporation, the state-owned operator that resumed operations in June 2020 after months of inactivity, did not help boost the country’s exports, reports Business in Cameroon.

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Cameroon exported a total of 136,048 tons of bananas, a drop from 155,435 tons attained last year.

Banana being an important commodity in the country, the government is seeking to inject CFAF29bn (US$49.5m) in the relaunch of operations of agro-industrial unit Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC).

From the CFAF 29 billion (US$49.5m) financing, the Corporation will utilize the bigger share CFAF14 billion (US$23.9m) in the banana sector and CFAF7 billion (US$11.9m) for the rubber, CFAF7 billion (US$11.9m) for oil palm and CFAF1 billion (US$1.7m) to finance salary arrears.

Other initiatives that have also been undertake to boost the sector’s performance include the extension of the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) programme implemented by the European Union by 2 years, to support the banana sector weakened by the covid-19 health crisis and the security crisis experienced in the country.

The program was launched in 2013 with an estimated budget of XAF31.6 billion (US$51.9 million).

It aims to modernize banana cultivation by introducing the use of equipment such as generators and irrigation systems. The programme also plans to modernize and extend the fruit terminal of the Port of Douala.

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