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Cameroon Agriculture and Fishing Overview
Agriculture and fishing
Agriculture is the backbone of Cameroon's economy. About 70 percent of the population gets their livelihood through agriculture, if you include those who grow for their own use without being employed by anyone. The country is one of the world's leading cocoa producers.
Other important export crops are cotton and coffee. Palm oil, rubber and fruit are growing in importance as export goods. Roots, cooking bananas and maize and more are grown for domestic consumption.
Agriculture's contribution to the country's GDP has more than halved since the 1970s. The main reason for this is that oil was discovered in 1978.
Recurrent food shortages
Food production and export income from agriculture vary with the weather and world market prices of export goods. In the past, Cameroon was largely self-sufficient in food, but in recent years food imports have increased.
Drought periodically causes food shortages in the densely populated northern parts of the country, which then receive food shipments from the UN. The unrest in the north during the 2010s (see Current policy) has exacerbated the food shortage there. The conflict in the English-speaking areas in the northwest and southwest since autumn 2017 (see Current policy) has led to a significant reduction in the cocoa and coffee crops, as many of the plantations are located there.
In order to increase food production, the government is investing in improving and expanding the road network in the countryside, among other things, to increase the availability of inputs for agriculture.
Large exports of timber
Livestock breeding is most common in the north and is mostly done using traditional methods.
Fishing is not a major industry because of the lack of fish in the waters off the Cameroon coast. The fishing is mainly done with age-old methods. Some fish are caught in the country's large rivers. The catch is consumed within the country.
About two-fifths of Cameroon is covered by forest. Timber is one of the country's most important export goods. Bad communications make it difficult to pass the timber from the harvesting areas to the customers. Therefore, most of the forest industry is controlled by a few foreign companies that have sufficient resources to handle the transport. In recent years, more wood has begun to be processed within the country. Illegal logging is a major problem (see Natural Resources, Energy and Environment). Replanting is underway in several areas that have been degraded in forests.
FACTS - AGRICULTURE
Agriculture's share of GDP
14.3 percent (2018)
Percentage of land used for agriculture
20.6 percent (2016)
The army exempts hundreds from Boko Haram
The army kills around 100 Boko Haram supporters during the last week of the month, freeing nearly 900 people captured by the Islamist movement, according to the Department of Defense. In addition, the soldiers seize a number of flags bearing the so-called Islamic State symbols. None of the about 200 schoolgirls who were robbed in Nigeria in April 2014 are among the exempt, according to the government.
The United States sends soldiers
The United States will send 300 soldiers to Cameroon to assist in the fight against Boko Haram. The American soldiers will primarily assist local troops with surveillance and intelligence operations.
Around 40 dead in suicide
About 40 people are killed in two suicide attacks in the city of Kerawa in northern Cameroon.
AI: Excessive violence in the fight against Boko Haram
accuses the security forces of using indiscriminate and excessive violence in the fight against the Boko Haram Islamist terrorist movement in northern Cameroon. should not interfere with the security issues of a sovereign state.
Teen suicide bombers
Twenty people are killed in a suicide attack in a bar in the city of Maroua, northern Cameroon. The explosive charge is believed to have been triggered by a twelve-year-old girl. At least 79 people are injured. Three days earlier, 13 people were killed in the same city in two suicide attacks believed to have been carried out by teenage girls.
Joint military force is formed
Cameroon and Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Benin agree to form a joint military force to fight the Islamist terror group Boko Haram, which originated in Nigeria but is increasingly moving across borders. Nigeria will lead the force, which however will get its base in Chad's capital N'Djamena.
UN: Boko Haram has carried away 1,500 children
UN coordinator in Cameroon says that Boko Haram has kidnapped around 1,500 children in the country and exploits them as servants and sometimes as human shields.