Agriculture, fishing, wildlife & forestry law

Agriculture Law

Farming in Cameroon is concentrated mainly on cocoa, coffee (Robusta & arabica), tea, banana, cotton, rubber, sugarcane, palm oil, cereal crops (grains, such as rice, maize, sorghum, beans, pearl millet, etc), cassava (manioc), potatoes, plantains, yams, fruits, vegetables, peanuts (groundnuts), etc. Cameroon is self-sufficient and surplus agricultural produce is exported to neighbouring countries (Nigeria, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic and Tchad). In the last decade or so, the agricultural sector, including forestry products, has generally accounted for about 23% of GDP. The sector also constitutes a source of income for about 62% of the population. Large agro-industrial corporations (public & private sector), private subsistence farming, small scale farming, agricultural cooperative societies, production (farming) organisations, professional agricultural organisations, and common initiative groups (CIGs) are playing a huge part in developing the sector.
Cameroon has a surface area of roughly 475,442 km2 (183,569 square miles) and about half of that is forested and one third of the forests are currently exploited. According to the World Bank, 20.63 % of Cameroon’s surface area was farmed, as at 2016. The potential of the Cameroonian agricultural industry is huge, but the lack of cutting edge mechanization necessary to increase efficiency and productivity in this sector is still absent. Other challenges include financing, land policy & governance, technology & research, skilled workforce, and infrastructure. Cameroon was party to the Maputo Declaration of the AU Assembly of Heads of States which adopted the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) of 2003 under the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) in which member states committed to spend 10% of their GDP on the agricultural sector to improve food security and nutrition in Africa. Cameroon is still struggling to hit this target and is in need of private investments to meet this target.

Dayspring Law Firm assists farmers and agricultural companies to access farmlands through mechanisms provided by land laws and state policy, comply with legislation regulating the agricultural sector, especially the law on food safety and quality, the laws on seed activity, law on the use of fertilisers, law on safety relating to biotechnology, phytosanitary protection regulations, environmental laws, customs laws (for importation of grains and exportation of produce), licensing rules for special agricultural sector (cocoa, coffee, etc.), OHADA Uniform Acts on Cooperative Societies (2010) and Economic Interest Groups (2014), intellectual property law (especially, new plant varieties and geographical indications), competition law, consumer protection law, food safety law, and tax laws and investment incentives. We equally assist enterprises in the sector to structure project finance and source capital to finance projects.

Fishing Law

There are seven (07) types of fishing activities in Cameroon; industrial fishing, semi-industrial fishing, traditional and small-scale fishing, sport fishing, fishing for scientific purposes, sea farming and fish farming, which are regulated by a basic law of 1994, which subjects these different types of fishing to fishing permits, authorisations, and licenses, and a 1995 decree (executive order) on the modalities of implementation of the fishing law. Other fishing activities include freezing establishments, cold stores, fish-mongering, etc. There are rules in place to protect fishing resources (biological rest periods, protection of sensitive habitats, authorised fishing areas rules, mesh size regulations), authorised fishing techniques and equipment, species prohibited from fishing and quotas, the exercise of fishing rights, classification of establishments in charge of treatment of fishing products and exportation of ornamental species, rules on sanitary and veterinary inspection and control, criminal liability for breach of fishing regulation, etc. Dayspring Law Firm accompanies actors in the fishing industry from filing application to obtain fishing permits to complying with fishing legislations and regulations.

Wildlife Law

Wildlife law is regulated primarily by a 1994 law supplemented by a 1995 decree on wildlife. Besides these, there are other applicable legal instruments such as the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (1963/1975) as amended in Bonn (1979) and Gaborone (1983), instruments on the list of protected animals, and hunting areas per types of hunting permits, criminal law, tax law, etc. Dayspring Law Firm advices on all aspects of wildlife law.

Forestry Law

Forestry law is primarily regulated by a law of 1994 (amended in 1999) supplemented by a 1995 decree, as well as the framework law on environmental management in Cameroon (1996). Several other laws complete the framework, including, decrees on the list of special forestry products, forestry tax (felling tax, forest regeneration tax, royalties, etc.), CITES, hunting rules, rules of land use in southern forest areas, rules on forest guards, rules on the management of revenues generated from forest activities for village communities, rules classifying forest products (forests products prohibited from exportation, forest products subject to quotas, promoted forest products), rules laying down standards and norms for forest activities (relations with local populations, forest management, forest preservation, water protection, production of wildlife, development of forest roads, building of camps and industrial forest installations, building of log yards, forest exploitation, skidding, etc.).
As counsel, Dayspring Law Firm assists all persons operating forest activities with obtaining forestry licenses, with understanding and compliance with forestry laws, with tax advisory services, etc.