Two and a half years after its return to the banana market in Cameroon, after a suspension of activities that lasted nearly two years, the CDC continues to pay a heavy price for the Anglophone crisis.
In the banana segment, CDC was only able to export 18,121 tonnes between January and November 2022, according to data compiled by the Cameroon Banana Association (Assobacam). By the end of November 2016, the year in which the Anglophone crisis broke out, which would later plague the operations of this public company, 102,255 tonnes of bananas had already been exported. This volume of exports corresponds to 5.6 times the volume of exports posted on 30 November 2022.
Worse, during the current year, while waiting for the December 2022 production, the monthly production of bananas of this agro-industrial unit has only crossed the 2,000 tonnes mark last April (2097 tonnes exactly), while it often reached peaks of 12,000 tonnes per month in the past.
This low production reflects CDC’s difficulties in recovering from the Anglophone crisis, despite the fact that it has been subsiding for several months. This lull, which had catalysed the return of CDC to the list of banana exporters in June 2020, after its exit in September 2018, had been preceded by a long period of insecurity, which had led the company to suspend its activities.
In detail, in 2018, 12 sites out of 29 were in total production stoppage at CDC, according to a report by the Groupement inter-patronal du Cameroun (Gicam), the country’s main employers’ organisation. According to the CDC, some of these sites had become base camps for armed militias who dislodged workers, causing the death of some employees in the process. This difficult situation had officially caused the loss of 6,124 jobs out of more than 22,000 in the company.