A QUICK ASSESSEMENT OF COFFEE PRODUCTION STATUS IN CAMEROON: A BRIEF REPORT

Cameroon was once reportedly the second leading coffee producer and exporter in Africa with annual production of as high as 132,000 tons in 1986. Since then, the production has been steadily declining with swinging annual production that went down as low as 36, 000 tons in 2010. According to ICO statistics, the production over the last 12 years (2000 – 2011) ranged between 66,780 in 2000 and 36,480 in 2010 with an annual average of 49,505 tons indicating a trend of stagnation. The productivity is also very low, about 204 kg/ha for Arabica and 340 kg/ha for Robusta according to early reports. However, data collected from the farmers and divisional ministry of Agriculture Office shows lower figures, 100 kg/ha for Arabica and 300 kg/ha for Robusta. According to earlier reports (Amadou, 2007), not only annual production but the cultivated area has also declined. On the average, the cultivated coffee area was about 280,606 ha between 1969 – and 1973 but this has dwindled to 187,119 ha between 1999 and 2003. It appeared that Cameroon had encountered similar problem that experienced in most of the African coffee producing countries that resulted in dramatic reduction of African export share in the world market. Africa’s global export share was about 30% in the 1970s and 80s but it is only between 11 – 12% at present.