Cameroon: Mechanised Agriculture - Report Shows Low Adoption

The report of the study was presented in Yaounde on May 14, 2019.

Asituational analysis of mechanised agriculture in Cameroon shows that as many as 75 per cent agricultural activities nationwide are carried out with rudimentary equipment. The report of the analysis which is the work of the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MINADER), carried out with support from the Food and Agriculture Organisation, was presented in Yaounde on May 14 in a ceremony chaired by Minister Gabriel Mbariobe.

The aim of the study is to facilitate the drawing up of a national mechanisation policy and strategy based on reliable and up-to-date data. According to Ngu Jiofack Ludovic of MINADER's Sub-department of Professional Agricultural Organisations and Support to Farm Enterprises, which carried out the research in collaboration with the National Cen tre for Studies and Experimentation of Mechanised Agriculture, the study showed that the same manual tools are used in the five agricultural zones of Cameroon.

They include hoes, machetes, spades, axes and wheelbarrows. 62.2 per cent of respondents in a sample group of 2,500 persons in eight regions of the country disclosed they are unsatisfied with the performance of the equipment but are obliged to use them due to lack of access to credit, lack of modern equipment, absence of farm-to-market roads and deficiency of training on how to use modern equipment, among others.

Besides just identifying the types of equipment used from seed production, planting, harvesting and processing, the researchers also catalogued companies involved in the manufacturing, importation and repairs of modern equipment for farming. Most of the manufacturers run very small workshops with an average of five employees, a majority of whom do not have higher education training.

As for importers, their products come mainly from South America, Europe, India and China, the report said. Service providers for mechanised agriculture are almost inexistent in the private sector, but institutions like MIDENO, SOWEDA, UNVDA, SODECOTON, SOSUCAM do provide them, according to the study which is second to one carried out in 2007.

Suggestions were made to further update the findings and for implementation of its recommendations which cut across reinforcing the use of modern equipment, opening up of agricultural zones, limitation of importation of equipment that can be made locally and reinforcing state institutions charged with mechanisation of agriculture.

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