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As cocoa and coffee wilt, Cameroon's farmers spice up their harvest
by Elias Ntungwe Ngalame
Thomson Reuters Foundation Translate This Article
3 February 2018
On 3 February 2018 Thomson Reuters Foundation reported:
For five years, Andrew Kombe said he and his family endured hardship as their coffee harvest dwindled, and their income along with it. Now the 49-year-old farmer is getting ready to harvest Penja peppercorns. The crop is named for the village where he lives, but the fame of this aromatic white peppercorn -- a favourite of gourmet chefs -- has spread worldwide. The pepper's certification under African intellectual property laws -- the name Penja can now be applied only to peppercorns from this area -- has boosted its exclusivity and its price. This has been a boon to thousands of hard-pressed farmers in the region who have seen their income from the more traditional cash crops of coffee and cocoa fall following a dire combination of heavy rains and severe drought, combined with a slump in prices on the international market.
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