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Tofala Hill 
Sanctuary

Palm oil

ERuDeF AFD

 

The project is located at the outskirts of Tofala Hill Lebialem, in the South West region of Cameroon. Thanks to the presence of an exceptional fauna, this reserve was officially recognized by decree in September 2014. The intervention area covers about 15 000 hectares.

The remaining forests are home a rich biodiversity whose wealth is undeniable. Several endangered species are present in one of the rarest primates in the world: the Cross River gorillas. This is also the case of a chimpanzee subspecies known under the name of the Chimpanzee of Nigeria. The diversity of habitats in the area has created a shelter of a considerable number of birds, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies species with one of the highest endemicity in the region.

Major issues


Fauna and flora of the Tofala sanctuary is at risk because of the proliferation of illicit activities: poaching (bushmeat), illegal logging, and deforestation for the development of new agricultural parcels. The sanctuary remains extremely vulnerable pending the implementation of a robust development plan.

The project area is constituted by a succession of steep hills, separated by relatively fertile valleys where family farming occur. The local population is particularly poor and suffers from a lack of basic infrastructure access. Introduced by the Germans at the beginning of last century, the extensive planting oil palm is one of the local products that still generate some income. However, farmers extract oil under very difficult conditions; they use manual extraction, plant marginal varieties, suffer from the extreme isolation of the farms and the poor transportation system that reduce market access.

 

 

The project and the prospects for change

 

The establishment of three mechanized presses since the last two seasons has helped produce quality oil with a much better performance than traditional presses. Although local communities are now using these tools, considerable work remains to be achieved to improve their supply, production methods, packaging, transportation and marketing of produced oil for a fair price.

The project aims to strengthen the existing producer groups and create a social enterprise responsible for the marketing of the products. These will include:

  • To better organize the collection of palm fresh fruit bunches to increase the profitability of the presses;
  • To provide technical support during pressing activities, and improve clarification and effluent discharge into the natural environment;
  • To equip groups with efficient equipment in order to significantly improve the collection, packaging of the final products;
  • To support the marketing of the final products on local and national markets;
  • To create a social enterprise responsible for inventory management, quality control, marketing products and possible export.

In the final year of the project, 30 tons of palm oil should have been placed on the market. In parallel, international opportunities will be sought for palm kernel oil, produced by pressing almonds contained nuts.

 

Committed partners

 

The NGO ERuDeF is a Cameroonian association that has been working for several years in the area. The association works for the conservation of biodiversity and the protection of fragile ecosystems through research, training, education and community involvement.

erudefafd logo

 

To learn more about this project and its 2016 key achievements, please click on this link.

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