Cameroon: Development of Agric Sector - Govt Creates Cameroon Seedling Company

The tree nursery and distribution system will produce 50 million high-yielding tree seedlings per year and create 3,000 jobs in the supply chain.

In a bid to boost the agricultural sector in the country and scale up production, the government has created a high-tech industrial tree nursery known as Cameroon Seedling Company, as well as put in place a distribution system.

The outfit, which is coming at a time many countries in West and Central Africa are facing serious challenges in agro-forestry and environmental sustainability, is the fruit of successful negotiations between the Government of Cameroon and Tree Global; a Swiss international nursery service.

A memorandum of understanding to set the project rolling was signed in Yaounde, Wednesday April 17. While the Minister of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, Alamine Ousmane Mey signed on behalf of the Government, the Chief Execution Officer of Tree Global, Gregory Hess, penned for his organisation. On hand was the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gabriel Mbairobe, amongst other top government officials.

According to the CEO of Tree Global, "this agreement is not merely a seedling production agreement but also a game changer for Cameroon's economic development and environmental sustainability." Gregory Hess said the MoU seeks to break the vicious cycle whereby low productivity drives deforestation and the increasing pressure on forest accelerates the impacts of climate change, thereby reducing productivity and rendering farmers poor.

Cameroon Tribune learned the high-tech industrial tree nursery and distribution system will produce 50 million high-performance tree seedlings per year. "At Tree Global, we build state-of-the-art nursery facilities and apply advanced growing technologies to produce high performance tree seedlings," Hess said.

The Cameroon Seedling Company will put in place a network of industrial-scale central nurseries as well as create and support 500 locally-owned rural businesses (seedling distribution centers) to manage distribution. Once this is done, it is expected that the company will contribute to the restoration of at least 60,000 hectares of forest and agricultural land each year. Farm productivity for crops like cocoa, coffee and cashew is also expected to increase by 2-4 times, while tripling and diversifying farmers' income. Some 3,000 rural jobs will be created in the tree nursery supply chain.

Minister Alamine Ousmane Mey described the project which will strengthen community resilience to climate change as a government priority.

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