Jesteś tutaj: Make fruit fair!Cameroon: banana company responds to local food insecurity

Cameroon: banana company responds to local food insecurity

22. 6. 2012:

The communities neighbouring the plantations belonging to Africa’s biggest banana company, PHP-Compagnie Fruitière, have serious problems of poverty and food insecurity. Households that do not include one of the 6,000 or so employees of the company do not have sufficient income to buy the food they require; they also do not have access to any land. People entered the plantation - illegally - to hunt or harvest what they could in the ‘islands’ of forest that remain inside the plantation boundary.

In an innovative initiative involving a local NGO, a women’s association and the PHP company, the women from these communities have negotiated access to land that is not planted with banana inside the plantation boundaries and have planted cereals and root crops for their own consumption. The women’s association, with the technical and organisational support of the local NGO, now manages 2,300 plots of a hundred square metre each, one per woman. Although the plots are within the plantation boundaries they are sufficiently far from the banana crop to avoid being sprayed by the company’s aeroplanes. Every year the women sign a kind of contract with the company for the free use of the land.

After a welcome greeting involving dancing and singing, we were able to talk with one group of women: ‘We used to go hungry, especially us women and our children’, explained one of the group. ‘We didn’t have enough to eat and we had nowhere to plant. Now we not only produce healthy food for our families but we get to eat quite a bit of it ourselves!’ And, according to the company, the problem of the incursions into the conserved forest areas has been more or less resolved.

Alistair Smith, Banana Link April 2013