SOSUCAM and Samdiaa sugar operation in Haute-Sanaga, Cameroon

Description

SOSUCAM, the largest sugar company in Cameroon, is a subsidiary of Somdiaa, a giant food and agribusiness company owned by the Vilgrain Group and the Castle Group, both of France. Under a 2006 contract with the Government of Cameroon, Sosucam received a long-term lease for 11,980 ha of land at the site of its 10,000-ha sugar-cane plantation in the Haute-Sanaga region. This land is added to a contract for 10,058 ha signed in 1965 to the original company SOSUCAM. Social rights groups have condemned the plantations and processing plants on numerous counts of human rights violations such as land dispossession, exposure to harmful chemicals, and loss of livelihood. According to CODEN only 4% of workers in the sugar plants are those who have lost their lands to the plantations. Sugar plants have been shut down twice in recent years due to worker protests but continue operations.

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Basic Data
NameSOSUCAM and Samdiaa sugar operation in Haute-Sanaga, Cameroon
CountryCameroon
ProvinceHaute-Sanaga region
SiteM’Bandjock & Nkoteng
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Land acquisition conflicts
Deforestation
Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Other industries
Specific Commodities
Sugar
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsSOSUCAM (Societe Sucriere du Cameroun) grows 65,250 ha of sugar cane on at least two sites, each with a manufacturing plant. The company produces 130,000 tons of sugar annually under the brand Princesse Tatie, and hopes to increase annual production to 3.5 million tons by 2015. 72.72% of SOSUCAM’s stock is owned by SOMDIAA and the remainder by the Cameroon government.

Project Area (in hectares)12
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population6000
Start Date1965
Company Names or State EnterprisesSomediaa from France
SOSUCAM from Cameroon
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersPeuples Solidaires, www.peuples-solidaires.org, Friends of the Earth, http://www.foei.org, Comité de développement de la région de Ndo (CODEN)
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)UNKNOWN
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Industrial workers
International ejos
Local ejos
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Pastoralists
Social movements
Local populations and national NGOs
Forms of MobilizationInvolvement of national and international NGOs
Strikes
Letters from NGOs to the company
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Health ImpactsVisible: Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Outcome
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseMigration/displacement
Repression
Development of Alternativessufficient compensation, workers rights, respect for pastoralism
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Despite efforts of NGOs and human rights groups SOSUCAM and Somdiaa continue operations and intend to expand in the coming years.
Sources and Materials
References

'Bail emphytéotique entre le Cameroun et SOSUCAM'
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'Cameroun : Un village résiste laccaparement de leurs terres par une société française'
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Links

[click to view]

, 'Cameroon, Somdiaa Sugar rights'
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, 'Cameroun : Somdiaa sucre les droits' http://farmlandgrab.org/post/view/16221
[click to view]

, 'Cameroun : Un village résiste laccaparement de leurs terres par une société française'
[click to view]

[click to view]

, 2010, 'Response to the Reaction Somdiaa to Urgent Appeal'
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SOSUCAM, 'DJ Cameroon's Main Sugar Factory Shut After Proest – Witnesses'
[click to view]

[click to view]

'Bail emphytéotique entre le Cameroun et SOSUCAM'
[click to view]

'Cameroun : Un village résiste laccaparement de leurs terres par une société française'
[click to view]

Media Links

Grain, in French
[click to view]

'Entretien avec Ndjoya Dieudonné'

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ContributorAliza Tuttle
Last update08/04/2014
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