Ecofin Agency - The denunciations of national and international NGOs on the environmental threat that would be the palm mining project in the South West Region of Cameroon, by the American firm Herakles Farms, may have definitely been right about this project.
Indeed, apart from a nursery 250 hectares of oil palm nursery plants whose maturation times are also overwhelmed without the said plants are planted, nothing has really changed on the sites. This was the observation just made an interministerial delegation of the Cameroon government, down on the ground to assess the progress of this highly controversial project.
However, after endless denunciations of NGOs, disapproval events riparian sites operated by Herakles Farms, a temporary suspension of activities delivered by the Minister of Wildlife and Forestry, the US firm finally got through to three presidential decrees were signed on 25 November 2013, a temporary concession on nearly 20 000 hectares of land. The company agribusiness escomptait 73,000 hectares, according to the settlement agreement signed with the government of Cameroon in 2009.
With a duration of 3 years have highlighted the presidential decrees, this temporary concession is subject to the obligation Herakles Farms, investing on the above- mentioned period, $ 259 billion CFA francs, otherwise cancellation of said temporary concession. With the suspension of activities observed last year, the specter of failure to obtain a definitive concession and outright abandonment of the project by Herakles Farms is becoming larger.
Betockvoices say - We can't forget that Cameroon is a rural country where agriculture plays a primary role. During the colonial period large commercial plantations were set-up especially in the coastal region of Cameroon for rubber, palms, banana and tea. Till date, this region is still witnessing the setting up of plantations and the phenomenon is also taken up by rich elites. The setting up of commercial plantations required the clearing of thousands of hectares of the forest, displacement of local communities and depriving them of their habitat and livelihood base. While setting up commercial plantations enables the rich to expand their capitalist investments, this is at the detriment of indigenous and local communities who depend on the forest for their livelihood. Plantations take up the best lands, pushing the rural people to cluster in camps and cultivating marginal lands that are hardly productive enough to feed themselves.