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SOSUCAM and Samdiaa sugar operation in Haute-Sanaga, Cameroon


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
Name of conflict:SOSUCAM and Samdiaa sugar operation in Haute-Sanaga, Cameroon
State or province:Haute-Sanaga region
Location of conflict:M’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:Deforestation
Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Land acquisition conflicts
Other industries
Specific commodities:Sugar
Project Details and Actors
Project details

SOSUCAM (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.

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Project area:12
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:6000
Start of the conflict:1965
Company names or state enterprises:Somediaa from France
SOSUCAM from Cameroon
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Peuples Solidaires,, Friends of the Earth,, Comité de développement de la région de Ndo (CODEN)
Conflict & Mobilization
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Industrial workers
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Local populations and national NGOs
Forms of mobilization:Involvement of national and international NGOs
Letters from NGOs to the company
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Food insecurity (crop damage), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Health ImpactsVisible: Occupational disease and accidents
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Development of alternatives:sufficient compensation, workers rights, respect for pastoralism
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Despite efforts of NGOs and human rights groups SOSUCAM and Somdiaa continue operations and intend to expand in the coming years.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

'Cameroun : Un village résiste laccaparement de leurs terres par une société française'
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'Bail emphytéotique entre le Cameroun et SOSUCAM'
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Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[click to view]

, 'Cameroun : Somdiaa sucre les droits'
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'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]

, 'Cameroon, Somdiaa Sugar rights'
[click to view]

, 'Cameroun : Un village résiste laccaparement de leurs terres par une société française'
[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'
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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

'Entretien avec Ndjoya Dieudonné'

Grain, in French
[click to view]

Other comments:0
Meta information
Contributor:Aliza Tuttle
Last update08/04/2014
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