The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER) has taken a step further in fighting against corruption by launching the Rapid Results Initiative in view of curbing corruption firstly in the cocoa/coffee and maize sectors by 50 per cent in 100 days.
The MINADER boss, Essimi Menye officially launched the programme and commissioned members of its implementation team to their functions in Yaounde, yesterday, August 21. The programme for now is limited only to the Centre and East Regions. The Rapid Results Initiative being implemented by government ministries and institutions, is part of the implementation phase of the national strategy for the fight against corruption, piloted by the National Anti-corruption Commission (NACC).
The Rapid Results Initiative programme concerned the national support programme for the maize sectors (PNAFM) and project for the treatment of cocoa and coffee (PALF 2C).
The programme for the support of the maize sector has the objectives to strengthen the capacities of farmers, ensure better structuring and organization, and to facilitate the use of quality seeds. The assistance consists of giving farmers seeds and other farm inputs, tools and tractors to medium and large-scale farmers. Besides farmers, the beneficiaries also include seed multipliers. The cocoa and coffee project (PALF 2C) on its part has the objective to put in place an effective and lasting system for the protection of plantations. The assistance is through the supply of fungicides, equipment and training farmers. Its beneficiaries are agriculture Common Initiative Groups, small and medium-sized enterprises and farmers.
Mission of Anti-corruption Team
Officials to implement the Rapid Results Initiative have to first of all conceive a working plan of action in view to eradicate the embezzlement of support given to farmers. The specific task of the team members will be to identify and explain the roots causes of corruption and imagine better ways of eradicating them; establish the strengths and weaknesses of the expenditure chain; propose measures to dissuade the corrupt and corrupted. They also have to propose a more assuring vision to farmer organizations to enable them readjust for their groups to be better taken care of and finally draw up a strategy to prevent and deal with corruption. The members of the team equally have to seek ways of implementing the strategy.
Mr Essimi Menye decried acts of corruption in the agriculture sector that include the misappropriation of assistance to farmers, existence of fictitious farmers Common Initiative Groups, undue favours and fact that good quality seeds do not get to the farmers in time. Speaking during the event, he said farmers must be trained to understand the assistance, how to obtain, use and follow it up. He said that from 2013 only visible Common Initiative Groups will receive assistance, stating that the Ministry plans to better organise and work with cooperative societies. Essimi also promised the audit of managers of projects and disclosed that fraudulent officials will be sanctioned.