“We Decry Unfair Competition”

Chief Charles Mekanya, General Manager of Pamol Plantations Ltd.

“There is actually a shortage in palm oil production in the country because the supply cannot meet up with the demand. The production is low because of lack of inputs. If you compare production per hectare with countries like Malaysia is about 20-25 tons per hectare while in Cameroon we are still around 11 tons per hectare principally because of lack of inputs like fertilizers which are expensive. The government is compelled to allow the importation of some quantity of palm oil to meet up with demand. But the worry to us is not the importation but the unfair competition because the palm oil which is imported is done so duty free where as local producers pay taxes and at the same time carry out social responsibility activities like the case of PAMOL. The government has been supporting us like fertilizers they gave us last year which boosted production. But unfortunately our mills are obsolete constructed since 1967 and thus cannot carry heavy production. I think government should assist us get loans to increase our production and renovate our mills. We are not refusing importation but what we are crying out for is that it should be fair. Those who import should pay taxes as local producers do so that we work on the same platform. We need to increase production by expanding our fields, rejuvenate old plantations amongst others.”

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