African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6859

Full Length Research Paper

Yam (Dioscorea spp.) production trends in Cameroon: A review

Ignatius Nkendem Azeteh
  • Ignatius Nkendem Azeteh
  • Department of Plant Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Dschang, P. M. B. 67, Dschang, Cameroon.
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Rachid Hanna
  • Rachid Hanna
  • International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ecoregional Center, P.M.B. 2008, Messa, Yaounde, Cameroon.
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Pierre Nekongo Sakwe
  • Pierre Nekongo Sakwe
  • Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, University of Buea, PMB 63, Buea, Cameroon.
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Achiangia Patrick Njukeng
  • Achiangia Patrick Njukeng
  • Department of Plant Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Dschang, P. M. B. 67, Dschang, Cameroon.
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P. Lava Kumar
  • P. Lava Kumar
  • International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Oyo Road, P.M.B. 5320, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
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  •  Received: 23 February 2019
  •  Accepted: 16 May 2019
  •  Published: 27 June 2019


Yam (Dioscorea spp.) cultivation has the potentials to greatly contribute to poverty alleviation and food security, in Cameroon. The full production potentials of yams have not been exploited, leaving Cameroon with an annual production of 648,407 metric tons (MT) at the sixth position, among the six countries of the West African yam zone, with 67.3 million MT. This review highlights research gaps in the yam production chain, which can be exploited to enhance production in the country. Subsistent yam cultivation takes place in all five agro-ecological zones of the country. Although with many fluctuations, yield and production quantities have recorded a marginal net increase, since 1961. Cameroon has nine cultivated and 17 wild species, exploited by Baka pigmies for food, but there is no established genebank, thereby exposing the genotypes to genetic erosion. Cultivated species are both indigenous and exotic, and traditional seed systems (sorting, junking, and milking) are exploited for seed procurement. Minisett technology is also gaining grounds. Yam processing is very limited, and, coupled with poor conservation facilities, contributes to elevated post-harvest losses. The yam marketing system is poorly organized, and hinders farmers from reaping optimum benefit from the activity. Other major constraints to yam production include high labour demand, pests and diseases, absence of improved seeds and research neglect. There is the need for concerted efforts involving all stake holders in the yam production chain to enhance yam production in Cameroon.

Key words: Review, yam (Dioscorea spp.), production, Cameroon.