APAnews | Inclement weather could cause a record 12, 000-tonne loss to Cameroon’s banana industry this year, if figures released on Thursday are anything to go by.
The Banana Association of Cameroon (ASSOBACAM) said it would welcome support from the European Union to avoid the downturn.
The threat looms large over the country’s main producers, consisting mainly of locals and multinationals.
According to the organization, the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) could incur a loss of 4,500 hectares.
Similarly, the Plantations of Upper Penja (PHP) could register an estimated loss to 4,500 while Boh Plantations Limited (BPL) faces a loss of 2,600 ha.
The three companies, grouped within the Banana Association of Cameroon, hail the “almost indispensable” support of the EU, which favors the installation of infrastructures such as pumping stations, generators and export supervision services.
In addition to the climate threat, export conditions at the port of Douala need improvement, hence the EU’s commitment the modernization of the fruit dock, from where most of the country’s bananas are exported.
“I know that with the funding we have mobilized, this site will be largely modernized with a state-of-the-art equipment that can store more than 800 banana containers in good refrigerated conditions, which is essential before export. All this investment will be an important step for the competitiveness of Cameroonian bananas,” Hans-Peter Schadek, the EU Ambassador in Cameroon said.
“We are committed to overseeing this sector for some time with a dedicated program, whose objective is to improve the competitiveness of this produce that has maintained its access to the European market with the Economic Partnership Agreements which we have just signed with Cameroon” the diplomat added.