12 July 2012

Cameroon: Officials Examine Farmers' Challenges

Photo: Anne-Mireille Nzouankeu/RNW
Cameroonian farmer digs out cassava tubers: Rural-urban migration, aggravated by the adverse effects of climate change on rural farming, is thought to be one of the main reasons behind the growing number of urban farmers in the city.

A round table discussion on family agriculture held in Mfou near Yaounde on July 11.

Small-scale farmers in Cameroon today face many challenges among which are access to credit, modern agricultural techniques, insufficient support from rural development institutions and lack of storage facilities. Others are little or the non-involvement of farmers in the drawing up of national and international agricultural projects, insufficient capacity building and the poor state of farm-to-market roads to enable farmers take their produce to markets. These were the issues raised at a round table discussion on investing in family agriculture in Mfou in Mefou and Afamba Division of the Centre Region on Wednesday July 11.

The President of the National Consultative Forum of Farmers' Organisations of Cameroon, CNOP-CAM, Elizabeth Atangana who doubles as FAO's Special Ambassador for Cooperatives, said the discussion will go a long way in analyzing government strategies for supporting family agriculture, identifying mechanisms for mobilizing resources and defining the relationship between farmers, the authorities and private sector.

Dr. Thomas Asaah Abaade of the Programme for the Improvement of the Competitiveness of Agro-pastoral Farms (ACEFA), said self-help groups contribute 15 per cent of total project cost while 10 per cent cash is contributed for PACA projects. The leader of CNOP-CAM North West, Grace Ateh said farmers still face difficulties in raising the amount demanded by the various projects.

Organised by CNOP-CAM, the discussion brought together officials of the Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development and Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries to clarify and seek solutions to the problems of family farming. Also in attendance were representatives of ACEFA, Swine Development Production Programme (PDFP), and "Projet d'Amelioration de la Competivite Agricole"(PACA).

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