Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon, is a country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west and north; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Its total area is 475,442 square kilometers (183,569 sq mi) and it is inhabited by over 23 million people.
Cameroon is among the world's largest cocoa producers. The agriculture sector in Cameroon is amongst the main occupations for over 70% of citizens and contributes enormously to the country's economy. The great majority of Cameroonian farmers are small-holders, generally obtaining low yields from small plots of land using traditional methods. Cash crop production is also done by small holders: 90% of cocoa plantations - the most popular cash crop - are less than three hectares. With agro-processing an important part of Cameroon's industry, agriculture is the livelihood basis for over 70% of the population. The government paid a fixed price to producers and offered incentives such as subsidies on fertilizers and pesticides.
Cameroon's agriculture has a - still largely underexploited - very good potential both in terms of soil quality and climate.
In Cameroon, the climate is tropical, semi-arid in the north, and humid and rainy in the rest of the country. There is almost everywhere a dry season in winter and a rainy season in summer due to the African monsoon, which is shorter in the north and longer in the south, while along the coast even in winter there can be some showers. The northernmost part of the country, on the shores of Lake Chad, is the driest area, where less than 600 millimeters of rain fall per year, while the wettest is the coast, where rainfall exceeds 3,000 mm per year.
Two types of coffee, robusta and arabica, are grown in Cameroon. The main crops range from traditional food crops (millet, maize, etc.) to export crops (banana, cocoa, coffee, cotton, etc.) as well as less traditional crops (onion, green beans, wheat, rice, etc.) produced either for local consumption or usually for export. Yam, cassava, plantains and bananas are the main food crops. Rice, one of Cameroon's main food imports. Cotton is the most important cash crop in the north, farmers receiving incentives and training to boost production. Cotton is the only agricultural industry still being run as a public monopoly.