Palm Oil Production: 3.6 Billion Deal On Fertilizer Subsidy

The convention signed February 14 between government and Unexpalm is intended to boost production among small-holder farmers.

Government has signed a convention with the Cameroon Union of Palm Oil Exploiters (UNEXPALM)  to enable small-holder farmers to buy fertilizer from the organization at a 25 per cent subsidized cost.

The convention was signed on February 14. The Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Louis Paul Motaze and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Henri Ayissi Eyebe signed on behalf of government while the President General of UNEXPALM, Leonard Claude Mpouma signed for the union.

The FCFA 3.6 billion-worth convention provides that the government would acquire 9,000 tons of fertilizer over a period of three years; 2,000 tons in the first year, 3000 in the second and 4,000 tons in the third year at a unit cost of FCFA 400,000 per ton. It also provides that through the subsidy scheme, UNEXPALM would be able to raise a FCFA 2.3 billion sustainability fund which would enable the union to continue the program after the three-year period of government assistance.

Minister Motaze said the subsidy would boost production among small-holder famers and by its eighth year of implementation, curb by 40 per cent, the national palm oil deficit which currently stands at 100, 000 tons annually. This, he said, would equally reduce importation of palm oil, while increasing value added tax on local production by FCFA 4.2 billion.

The Secretary General of UNEXPALM, Paul Bangoui, said the union is going to launch a media campaign to reach farmers in all palm oil producing regions in the country. He also noted that farmers who contact the union to benefit from the convention would be directed to the various outlets where they would get fertilizers at a reduced cost.

He equally revealed their target is to reach small holder palm oil producers with 27, 750 tons of fertilizer by the eighth year of implementation of the subsidy deal. He noted it is the fourth public-private partnership the union is signing with government, which to him, is an indication that the previous ones were satisfactorily implemented.

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