The Minister of Mines, Industry and Technological Development, Ernest Gbwaboubou has inaugurated the first-ever oil palm factory in the Nyong and Kelle Division, Center Region. He officially opened the factory in the town of Sombo, Dibang Subdivision on Friday November 3, 2017. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony animated by a handful of local traditional dance groups, Minister Gbwaboubou said the factory would serve all the oil-producing villages around Sombo, facilitating mass production of oil palm and its bi-products such as soap and cosmetics. "The project costs about half a billion and is aimed at increasing productivity and competitiveness in the palm oil sector in a bid to alleviate poverty," he said. He urged the villagers to grow more palm nuts so that the factory would serve its purpose. The project which has a production rate of two tons per hour was placed under a local common initiative group known as "Societe Cooperative de Dévelopment et Extension de la Culture du Palmier a huile Babel Maen." The Minister said the construction of the factory is part of a trial phase of a major project covering West and Central Africa. He disclosed that three other factories would be constructed in other rural communities involved in the production of oil palm in Cameroon. These include Ngie in Momo Division of the North West Region, Bakingili in Fako Division and Mkpot in Manyu Division. Besides setting up oil mills, technological skills of villagers are also improved to enable them use the machines. It also involves capacity building for sustainable development and supply of fresh fruit bunches to processing units; as well as improving market access and competiveness of palm oil produced in the country. The umbrella project dubbed Project on Improving the Income Generation Potential of the Oil Palm Sector in the West and Central Africa is being implemented in Cameroon and Nigeria. The regional project which was initiated since 2006 is funded by several organizations including the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the Food and Agricultural Organization and the Common Fund for Commodities. The Project Manager for Cameroon, Chief Micheal Mbi Oruh, says it will go a long way to reduce the oil palm deficit in Cameroon which currently stands at 130, 000 tons per year.
Cameroon: Nyong Et Kelle - First Oil Palm Mill Inaugurated
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