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Co-designing win-win partnerships between agroindustries and smallholders in the palm oil sector in Cameroon

Haman Djouma S., Feintrenie L., Levang P., Nji A.. 2018. Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement, 22 (3).

Description of the subject. To boost the development of the national palm oil sector, one of the most promising moves for the Cameroonian government would be to improve partnerships between agro-industries and smallholders in order to increase the latter's plantation yields and oil extraction rates. Objectives. Drawing on successful experiences in Southeast Asia, this paper examines the conditions for establishing a win-win partnership between agro-industrial companies and smallholders in the Cameroonian palm oil sector. Method. The study was carried out in three production basins in the Centre and the Southwest regions of Cameroon where such partnerships were initiated before the collapse of the National Aid Fund for Rural Development (FONADER) in the 1970s. In participatory workshops involving at least twelve stakeholders (palm oil producers, artisanal and industrial millers, intermediaries and agricultural extension services), the participants' knowledge was integrated together through individual and collective reflection, with a guarantee of equal expression and consideration of views. Two workshops followed a strict adaptation of Participatory Prospective Analysis (PPA); a third followed a semi-directed participatory approach. Interactions between participants produced definitions of the systems studied and the variables involved, different plausible future scenarios, and recommendations for decision making. Results. Access to technical and managerial capacity building, terms of the contract, access to shareholding in the company by smallholders, and legalization of the terms of the contract emerged as the major items that would influence a sustainable partnership between agro-industries and smallholders. Conclusions. Participatory derived recommendations show that long-term partnerships between agro-industry and smallholders depend on a negotiated contract agreement between the partners to ensure transparency and trust. In addition, a dedicated smallholder department in charge of village plantations within agro-industrial companies can facilitate communication between partners.

Mots-clés : production; participation; partenariat; coentreprise; analyse économique; petite exploitation agricole; agro-industrie; elaeis guineensis; cameroun

Thématique : Agro-industrie; Economie familiale et artisanale; Economie de la production

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