Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

Cameroon: Yaounde Gears up for International Agro-Fair

MINMIDT boss gave a press briefing Wednesday on its importance and state of preparedness.

Yaounde will from April 2 to 8, 2013 host an international forum on agro-food industry, an opportunity for over 150 enterprises from within and without Cameroon to showcase their invention and innovation prowess in the sector described variously as catalyst to sustainable development. Industries, Mines and Technological Development Minister (MINMIDT), Emmanuel Bonde, made the disclosure on Wednesday February 27 in a press briefing.

According to Minister Bonde, the forum, code-named, "SIALY", already in its second edition after the first in 2010, will offer stakeholders in the agro-food industry the opportunity to sell their know-how to the world, meet on business-to-business (B to B) basis with other actors from elsewhere, create networks as well as meet with donors who could eventually finance life-changing projects.

"The agro-food industrial sector which supports the processing of agricultural produce into finished and semi-finished products contributes more than 33 per cent to national industrial production and produces 22.2 per cent of industrial value adding as well as 6 per cent of the country's exports," the Minister said. The forum, he like the Coordinator of the Technical Secretariat, Mindjos Momeny, said will serve as a link between actors of the agro-food sector and the government.

Government, they said, has already undertaken moves to boost growth-induced sectors capable of augmenting local manufactured products. They cited products like palm oil with a project to improve the income-generation potential of oil the palm sector in Nigeria and Cameroon with objectives to promote the development of the sustainable production and utilisation of the oil palm in West and Central African countries, with a focus on markets as the driving force. There is also the cotton/textile sector with goal to process at least 30 per cent before export and others like maize, cassava, rubber and sugar cane under development.

Over 80 enterprises, it was disclosed at the press briefing, have already confirmed their participation and countries like France, Benin, Turkey, and South Africa will be part. Talks are on with others like Tunisia, Morocco et al. Besides exhibitions, participants will also have paper presentations, open-door days, carry out excursion visits as well as award prizes to those who would excel.

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