African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6849

Full Length Research Paper

Smallholder palm oil production sector in African countries: State of the art, practices, constraints, and opportunities in Littoral and Centre regions of Cameroon

Lawrence Monah Ndam
  • Lawrence Monah Ndam
  • Department of Agronomic and Applied Molecular Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, University of Buea, P. O. Box 63 Buea, South West Region, Cameroon.
  • Google Scholar
Godswill Azinwie Asongwe
  • Godswill Azinwie Asongwe
  • Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, University of Buea, P. O. Box 63 Buea, South West Region, Cameroon.
  • Google Scholar
Raymond Ndip Nkongho
  • Raymond Ndip Nkongho
  • Department of Agronomic and Applied Molecular Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, University of Buea, P. O. Box 63 Buea, South West Region, Cameroon.
  • Google Scholar
Kenneth Mbene
  • Kenneth Mbene
  • Department of Chemistry, Higher Teacher Training College of the University of Yaounde 1, P. O. Box 47, Yaounde, Cameroon.
  • Google Scholar
Valentine Asong Tellen
  • Valentine Asong Tellen
  • Department of Agronomic and Applied Molecular Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, University of Buea, P. O. Box 63 Buea, South West Region, Cameroon.
  • Google Scholar
Emmanuel Jiti Ndi
  • Emmanuel Jiti Ndi
  • Department of Agronomic and Applied Molecular Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, University of Buea, P. O. Box 63 Buea, South West Region, Cameroon.
  • Google Scholar
Jun-Jun Ma
  • Jun-Jun Ma
  • Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Saitama University, Saitama 338-8570, Japan.
  • Google Scholar
Aaron Suh Tening
  • Aaron Suh Tening
  • Department of Agronomic and Applied Molecular Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, University of Buea, P. O. Box 63 Buea, South West Region, Cameroon.
  • Google Scholar
Takeshi Fujino
  • Takeshi Fujino
  • Department of Environmental Science and Technology, Saitama University, Saitama 338-8570, Japan.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 17 September 2023
  •  Accepted: 22 February 2024
  •  Published: 31 March 2024

Abstract

During palm oil extraction by smallholders in Cameroon, palm oil mill effluent (POME) is generated. A detailed description of the processes involved, aids in reducing loss and minimising the environmental effect of the wastes produced. We characterized herein, the production chain of smallholders’ palm oil production in Cameroon. Mixed methods research approach was used, and semi-structured questionnaires administered. Smallholder farmers were adult males (64.4%), married (46.7%) with low levels of formal education (51.1% attained only primary education). Plantation establishment involved the deforestation of pristine vegetation (46.7%). Oil processing was achieved using farmers-owned mills (48.9%) bought at exorbitant prices. Access to finances (51.1%) remained a key limitation to plantation expansion. Workers’ health issues abound (75.6%) and were treated using ethnomedicine (31.1%). Sick workers generally paid bills on their own (64.4%). Solid waste was mainly burnt (57.8%) and untreated POME was directed into open pits and streams (37.8%) where they became a nuisance with obnoxious odour and served as breeding grounds for mosquitoes (51.1%). The findings showed that the majority of farmers in the palm oil sector had a deep knowledge base and competence in manipulating the milling machines. Still, government’s intervention was needed to stimulate further growth in this important sector.

Key words: Mixed methods research, smallholders, palm oil, characterisation, environmental degradation, sustainability, Cameroon.