Palm oil production in Cameroon though moving progressively from artisanal or traditional to semi modern or highly industrialised, production essentially still remains in the hands of small holder farmers. In South West Cameroon, palm oil production is concentrated in the Ndian, Meme, Manyu, and Lebialem Divisions.
In spite of the absence of major palm oil industrial operations in Lebialem Division, the Division still remains among the top three in palm oil production in Cameroon. Palm oil business in Lebialem Division is estimated at over 200,000,000 CFA(USD363302) per year. It is largely unregulated and dominated by the middlemen coming from the Western Region of Cameroon and most recently from Nigeria. The larger part of the profits is absorbed by these middlemen to the detriment of local producers.
In order to reduce the unregulated palm oil market in Lebialem, the Silver Back Company (SBC Ltd) was created by ERuDeF to assist the local producers. SBC Ltd is assisting to organize the farmers into formal cooperatives through which their palm oil will be sold. Furthermore, SBC has installed four se-mi-industrial palm oil mills with production capacity of 1.5 tons per day to produce top qua-lity palm oil.
The top quality palm oil with 0.3% acid content and free flow at all temperatures, positions the SBC palm oil from Lebialem on top of all palm oil produced in rural Cameroon. The mills are located in Betchati, Bessali, Nkong and Essoh Attah.
At the end of the re-organisation of the palm oil sector in Lebialem Division, SBC will be in the position of mobilising over 142,000 litres of pure palm oil annually.
The SBC palm oil also known as the Cross River Gorilla (CRG) Palm Oil, is marketed in all big towns of Cameroon.