In the southwest region of Cameroon, a New York-based agri-corporation, Herakles Farms, its local subsidiary SG Sustainable Oils Cameroon (SGSOC), and a US non-profit organization All for Africa are involved in a land deal that is about to destroy over 70,000 hectares (300 square miles) of rainforest and the livelihoods of thousands of rural Cameroonians. If the project goes forward, farmland and forest will be replaced by a giant palm oil plantation.
There are known and affordable alternatives to this industrial project if one wants to really promote sustainable agriculture and human development in the area. In the three Herakles Farms’ nurseries, thousands of seedlings are ready to be planted. If the company truly wants to promote sustainable agriculture, it must hand over these seedlings to the local farmers and allow them to grow palm in a sustainable way, which should rely on diversified and environment friendly agricultural production.