Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

Cameroon: AFDB Disburses Fcfa 12.5 Billion for Grassfield Programme

The loan for Phase II of the programme seeks to reduce poverty in the North West Region.

Monday December 16 marked another twist in the relationship between Cameroon and the African Development Bank, AfDB. The government of Cameroon and the African Development Bank signed a loan and grant agreement for the funding of the second phase of the grassfield project for the support of rural infrastructure and community-driven development. The fund worth FCFA 12.55 billion represents a loan of FCFA10.17 billion from AfDB and a grant of FCFA 2.38 billion.

The loan and grant will contribute to poverty reduction amongst the rural population of the project intervention zone in the region through the development of agricultural sub sectors, promotion of youth employment and the development of new land to encourage farmers to settle in the region.

The first phase of the grassfield project has been given a passed mark by both the donor and the government of Cameroon. During the first phase of the project that ran from 2005 to 2011, the project generated over FCFA 5 billion as additional income to beneficiaries through agricultural development activities, increased marketed production by 60 %, rehabilitated 257 km of rural road, realized socio-economic infrastructure as well as build capacities for local communities.

The Minister of Economy Planning and Regional Development, MINEPAT, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi was around to sign for the government of Cameroon while the Resident Representative of AfDB, Racine Kane, appended his signature on the documents. During the signing ceremony, Minister Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi said in a bid to consolidate the achievements of the first phase of the project, the government of Cameroon submitted a request for the funding of the second phase in March 2012.

He said after feasibility studies, the areas of Widikum, Santa/Tubah, Gayama and Mbaw Mbonso covering eight council areas were selected. He added that the second phase will equally improve agricultural production as well as increase the income of beneficiaries.

For the Resident Representative of the AfDB Racine Kane, the project that will go operational as from March 2014 will affect the lives of over 250,000 people, more of which will be women. He said the project will affect about 50,000 households. He appreciated the steering committee of the first phase and hope that the second phase will be properly executed.

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