Minister Ananga Messina last week offered FCFA 581 million to 26 PACA-assisted farmer groups.
Some 26 food crop and livestock farmer groups from the Centre and South Regions on Thursday, November 22, 2012 in Yaounde received FCFA 581 million from PACA Project to boost their poultry, pig, maize, banana and plantain production. Six of the groups were from the South Region while the remaining 20 were from the Centre Region.
Funding agreements were also signed at the occasion between farmers and PACA - a government-initiated and World Bank- supported agricultural competiveness project. The farmers' counterpart funding in cash and kind amounted to FCFA 754 million. Speaking at the event in the Chamber of Agriculture, Fisheries, Livestock and Forestry, Yaounde, the Minister Delegate to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in charge of Rural Development, Mrs. Ananga Messina Clémentine Antoinette, urged representatives of assisted groups to make use of the huge market in Nigeria by producing more quality crops and livestock.
The Minister Delegate reminded the beneficiaries that PACA was conceived to address the problems raised by the 2008 food riots in the country. The goal, she recalled, is to professionalise farmers' output by supporting them in all stages of production and marketing in order to meet national and sub-regional food needs. To the representatives of assisted farmers, Mrs. Ananga said she expected them start work immediately as they will be assessed according to their performance.
The Minister Delegate added that PACA had been identified as an important tool in implementing government's white paper on economic growth and job creation, GESP, with areas of focus being maize, oil palm, pig, poultry, banana and plantain production. According to the Delegate for Agriculture and Rural Development for Centre Region, Gabriel Mbolo, the project now operates in 11 divisions in the two regions.
To date, 3,000 applications have been received from farmer groups from the two regions with 88 already receiving financial support, explained Nkoum Ntyam Georges Armand, PACA Coordinator for Centre and South Regions. The project went operational in the two regions in March 2010.