Analysis of the Plantain Supply System of Markets in the City of Douala

Denis Pompidou FOLEFACK, Guillaume Hensel FONGANG FOUEPE, Kabirou Mohamadou ADAMOU, Jean Pierre EBONGUE, Achille BIKOI, Pascal NOUPADJA


In Cameroon, the city of Douala constitutes one of the major urban centers for the consumption of plantain. Due to changes in eating habits, the consumption of plantain is in net increase. This study aims to gain a better understanding of the functioning of the plantain supply system in the city of Douala, as well as its current performance. Surveys were carried out among 125 actors (transporters, wholesalers, retailers, collectors) in order to study its efficiency. The results of the study reveal that the activity is clearly dominated by women. The actors are very little organized, in associations or groups. The markets are mainly supplied with plantain from the production basins of the Littoral, South-West and West regions. There is strong seasonality in the supply of plantain in the markets. This results in a permanent fluctuation in the price of plantain which at times attains up to 33%. Thus, plantain remains expensive in the markets of Douala and the selling price is influenced by the purchase price, the cost of transport and the profit margins imposed by the stakeholders. Financial analysis of the activity shows that it is very profitable, with gross monthly profit margins evaluated at CFAF 183 417 for retailers, CFAF 229 756 for wholesalers and CFAF 397 612 for collectors. The profit margin of the collector is higher than those of the other actors. Actors face severe constraints such as: the poor state of rural roads; costs of informal road tolls; absence of market structures; theft and insecurity, etc. In view of the results obtained, the supply system is not performing well to satisfy the high demand for plantain in the city of Douala.

Key words: Plantain, Performance, Supply system, Markets, Douala, Cameroon.

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