The projects will be located in Bombe Bakundu in Meme Division and Bachuo Akagbe in Manyu Division all in the South West Region.
T he farming localities of Bombe Bakundu in Mbonge Sub-division and Bachuo Akagbe in Upper Bayang Sub-division will soon have semi-industrial processing units for palm oil production. The two localities in the Meme and Manyu Divisions respectively are noted for the production of palm nuts by smallholders’ famers who most often use rudimentary tools to process the nuts into palm oil. Their ordeal will soon be a thing of the past following a procurement notice to construct, supply and stall two semi industrial oil palm processing units by the Agricultural Infrastructure and Value Chain Development Project (AIVDP) lodged at the South West Development Authority (SOWEDA). According to the procurement document signed by the Project Coordinator, Dr Besong Ntui Orgork, the projects divided into two lots amounts to some FCFA 28.1 million, funded by the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB). Lot one which amounts to FCFA 13.9 million will be executed within 16 months in Bombe Bakundu while lot two in Bachuo Akagbe to be executed within the same time frame is valued at FCFA 14.2 million. As the procurement notice states, the works to be executed includes preliminary works which includes improvement of the access road and construction of box culverts to the project site, construction of metallic portal frame for the mill structure, supply and installation of machinery, construction of borehole for water supply system, construction of mill office block, construction of a generator house as well as installation of electric power substation. The contractors will also be expected to train mill staff, ensure production of operations and management manuals and the follow up during the guarantee period. A 2019 research Article titled “Oil Palm Expansion and Deforestation in Southwest Cameroon Associated with Proliferation of Informal Mills” published by Nature Communications holds that two companies (PAMOL and Cameroon Development Corporation) owned and operated five palm oil mills in South West Cameroon. As the number of producers grew, niche milling opportunities emerged from inefficiencies including delayed payments to farmers, high transportation costs, and an inability of existing mills to process peak season production. Unlike industrial mills, most recently established non-industrial mills are unregulated and vary widely in scale and the quality of oil produced, ranging from completely manual to fully mechanized systems. Thus, the semi industrial oil palm processing units will serve as a stitch in time for small holders’ farmers in the two localities.