Woman farming in Cameroon

Large scale land acquisition for agroindustrial expansion is currently one of the most serious threats against forests and people in the Congo River basin, the third largest river in the world by volume of water discharged.

According to the Center for Environment and Development (CED)/Friends of the Earth Cameroon, from 2005 to 2012, the demand for lands by large-scale monoculture plantations amounted to two million hectares, out of the six million hectares of arable lands available in the country. Among the industrial monocultures that have advanced the most in Cameroon we find rubber trees and palm oil.

The organisation has also denounced that large infrastructure projects (such as dams, pipelines, railways and deep-water ports) are also factors that bring pressure on the community lands or arable lands that could be fundamental to ensure food sovereignty in the future.

Given the fact that the right to land of small rural farmers is in a fragile situation, CED has been working to defend and promote their rights and especially in the case of women, who despite many times being in charge of small-scale production systems, they are robbed from their right to land tenure.

In terms of Food Sovereignty, the problem becomes even more pressing, since the global trend of rural women being in charge of food production is more marked in the Sub-Saharan African region, to which Cameroon belongs. There, women are responsible for the production of 60-80 per cent of food, according to data from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Listen to the 2017 interview below, or download the MP3 (2.1 Mb) here (in English).

Watch interview with CED’s Chair, Samuel Nguiffo, about the activities of US company Herakles Farms, dedicated to large-scale palm oil plantations (available in French with subtitles automatically generated in other languages).

For more information, see these related materials (in French):