(Business in Cameroon) - Funded with FCFA50 billion by the World Bank, the Investment and Development Project for Agricultural Markets (PIDMA) may not reach its objectives. Indeed, this is what suggest the various challenges faced by PIDMA’s managers.
Indeed, recently, during the regular dialogue meeting for the project’s implementation, two of the partners involved decided to exit the PIDMA. These are Afriland First Bank and Ecobank Cameroon. “Remaining partners are SGC (Société Générale Cameroon) and BICEC (BPCE’s subsidiary),” said Thomas Ngue Bissa, coordinator of PIDMA, who also deplored "high interest rates" on loans granted farmers associations involved in the project. “The loans are not rapidly provided, in addition to their interest rates being extremely high,” he said.
Moreover, during the same meeting, it was found that the project’s beneficiaries are having a hard time fulfilling their contracts, due to organizational issues. Same goes from agribusinesses partnering the projects. “Some committed to purchase tons of maize at FCFA200/kg, and now that market price is FCFA160, they have withdrawn their orders, buying elsewhere,” PIDMA’s coordinator told the Quotidien gouvernemental.
Let it be recalled that the PIDMA which aims to boost local cassava, sorghum and maize outputs to supply agribusinesses, extends over the 2014-2019 period. Under the project, financing is provided to farmers and benefited cooperatives in the form of subsidies (50% of needed funding), while they are to personally provide 10% of the investment and secure remaining 40% from partnering banks.