The Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) is currently financing a project entitled “Improving the Income Generating Potential of the Oil Palm in West and Central African Region (Cameroon and Nigeria)”. The project’s objective is to establish and equip four medium scale palm oil processing centers in Cameroon and one center in Nigeria. The project is being implemented under the supervision of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and aims at introducing new processing technologies. Training and the equipment required for the five centers to enhance the capacity of the various village groups and cooperatives who will operate the centers is being provided by the CFC project.
Currently CFC and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) are in the process of awarding a contract to an equipment supplier who was identified after an open bidding exercise. The supplier will deliver the equipment to the four centers in Cameroon later this year. The construction work at the sites has been completed in three of the five centers and construction work in the remaining two will be completed soon. A comprehensive training approach has been integrated in the project with various workshops on management, marketing, palm oil processing, food safety and quality underway.
The processing capacity of the mills being established is 2 tons per hour at the following locations:
1. Teze/Ngie – Cameroon
2. Sombo – Cameroon
3. Mkpot – Cameroon
4. Akwa Ibom State– Nigeria
Another mill, which has a capacity of 5 tons per hour, is being established at the foot of Small Mount Cameroon in the Green Valley Estate in Bakingili, Cameroon. The development impact will be enhanced by primary producers in the five regions who will find a local market outlet for the oil palm produce (Fresh Fruit Bunches) which will encourage them to adopt high yielding varieties. Ultimately the project will introduce a commercial demand driven market for palm oil in both countries. Processors will be able to add value to locally produced commodities through a boost in their processing capacity. The local stakeholders in the five sites will also be able to sell larger quantities at higher prices, therefore stimulating employment and income generation in the communities. The project sustainability has been guaranteed by defining a clear ownership and business model framework which is supported by UNIDO through capacity building activities and technical assistance.