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OPAL in Cameroon

Country situation

When it comes to oil palm cultivation in Africa, Cameroon represents a major region of growth. However, it is not without its issues –  particularly around productivity and lack of competitiveness. Low productivity is the result of aging plantations, the use of unselected seedlings, the absence of fertilization and low milling yields. Nonetheless, Cameroon has a huge domestic and regional market for crude palm oil, while its numerous well-established artisanal mills provide a degree of independency from large industrial operation.

In a nutshell – a 3-minute overview of Cameroon’s issues:

 

Goal

OPAL’s Cameroon team is responsible for all project activities in the country. The team developed the CoPalCam role play game, and initiated a series of MSc studies aiming to improve knowledge around the smallholder palm oil sector in Cameroon. The team will facilitate field research undertaken by teams dealing with biodiversity and landscape patterns, hydrological services and soil processes, with an overall objective to contribute to the sustainable development of the palm oil sector in Cameroon.

People

Major partners to the OPAL project in Cameroon are Ludovic Miaro, Durrel Halleson and Fideline Mboringong from WWF Cameroon, Emmanuel Ngom from PDPV-MINADER, and Patrice Levang from IRD/CIFOR. Occasional support has been provided by Eglantine Fauvelle and Laurène Feintrenie (CIRAD) and Raymond Nkongho (from the University of Buea). Every year, through internships, master’s students come on board to answer specific research questions, such as Aimée Kwembi and Kenneth Mbache in 2015, and Théo Martin and Marie Gaëlle Ngo Njiki who joined our team in 2016.

Current activities

The CoPalCam role playing game was first developed and tested in Montpellier. After being tested by the team in Cameroon and its parameters adjusted, the gaticipants (smallholders, medium holders, cooperatives, agro-industries, retailers and district representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture) who helped to finetune the game. Participants were highly receptive to learning through the play sessions, which fostered a heated debate among participants, contributing to increased understanding of the sector.me was played by local actors in three locations: Ekondo Titi, Muyuka and Eseka. The game was enjoyed by all par

In early April 2016, a special game session was organized in Yaoundé with members of the Interministerial Commission on Oil Palm, a commission bringing together high-level civil servants from the ministries of Commerce, Finance and Agriculture, agro-industries, second processing industries and producers’ unions. The game was a huge success. Find out more here.

This presentation – given at the ScenNet’2016 Conference, 24-26 August 2016, Montpellier, France – shows how the model and game were constructed, and what the outcomes were.

In 2015, two studies were initiated, on:

  • the place and role of smallholder cooperatives in the development of the oil palm sector in Cameroon (Aimée Kwembi);
  • the feasibility of establishing a palm oil micro mill managed by smallholders (Kenneth Mbache).

In 2016, further studies looked at:


Related topics:

National Palm Oil Policy Dialogue  (February 2018)

​The OPAL team in Cameroon organized a National Palm Oil Policy Dialogue to leverage policy towards sustainable palm oil development in Cameroon. The three-day workshop was organized under the auspices of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER) under the theme ‘Sustainable Palm Oil Development in Cameroon: Investing in a sustainable future for people and nature’.

Read more here. ​

Game session at the highest level (April 2016)

In early April 2016, a special game session was organized in Yaoundé with members of the Interministerial Commission on Oil Palm, a commission bringing together high-level civil servants from the ministries of Commerce, Finance and Agriculture, agro-industries, second processing industries and producers’ unions. The game was a huge success! Find out more here.

Game sessions with stakeholders (August 2015)

Role-playing game sessions with palm oil supply chain stakeholders, where the CoPalCam game was tested and refined.

Report and photos here.

The OPAL Project is funded by:
Project Consortium:
Location

Oil Palm Adaptive Landscapes (OPAL)
c/o Prof. Jaboury Ghazoul
Chair of Ecosystem Management
Department of Environmental System Sciences
ETH Zurich
Universitätstrasse 16
8092 Zürich
Switzerland

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