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April 09, 2009

Cameroon's state-owned company to increase banana production by 60%

by Pius Lukong

The Cameroon Development Corp., the West African country’s state-owned agricultural company, plans to increase banana production by 60 percent by the end of the year.

Output will rise to 400,000 metric tons by the end of 2009, General Manager Henry Njalla Quan said in a statement handed to reporters today at CDC’s headquarters in Limbe, 400 kilometers (250 miles) southwest of the capital, Yaounde.

The company’s banana plantations will be expanded by 1,750 hectares (4,324 acres), 500 hectares of which will be “planted immediately,” he said. The CDC’s banana projects are run in partnership with the local unit of Del Monte Food Co.

Cameroon is Africa’s third-largest banana producer, after Burundi and Egypt, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. The CDC was created in 1947 to develop and operate plantations of tropical crops including rubber, palm oil, bananas and coconut.

Most of the CDC’s rubber and banana crop is exported, while its palm oil output is consumed locally.

The CDC is one of the companies that have been earmarked for privatization by Cameroon’s government, Njalla Quan said.

Bloomberg

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